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The Differences Between Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Divorce


If you and your spouse have decided to file for divorce, you have more options than the typical litigated process. Divorce mediation and collaborative divorce are two alternative options for couples who wish to take a more amicable approach to their divorce. Many people do not understand the differences between mediation and collaborative divorce. While the differences can be subtle, they are also significant enough to fundamentally alter the outcome of your divorce negotiations.

Similarities Between the Processes

Both mediation and collaborative divorce are voluntary processes that spouses can opt into instead of the traditional divorce process. Both stress the importance of communication and working together to come to a resolution on all outstanding issues in the divorce. Mediation and collaborative divorce negotiations typically happen outside of the courtroom and lawyers are present for both types of talks. In both processes, if the spouses can come to an agreement, a final divorce settlement agreement is drafted and submitted to the court for approval. Typically, it is faster and cheaper to engage in divorce mediation or collaborative divorce than to go through traditional litigated means.

Differences Between the Processes

In divorce mediation, each spouse comes to the table with their own attorney. A mediator works as a neutral third party, serving as a go-between back and forth with each spouse until a solution can be agreed upon for their issues. The mediator does not serve as an advocate for either side and cannot give either spouse any legal advice. If the mediation fails, the couple can keep the decisions that they agreed upon and litigate only the remaining issues in their divorce.

In a collaborative divorce process, a team of professionals is brought in along with attorneys who are trained as collaborative divorce lawyers work together with the spouses to come together on an all-encompassing agreement for their finalized divorce. Everyone involved in the process works to see all sides of an issue and come to a solution that works best for everyone. Typically in a collaborative divorce, each spouse must sign an agreement prior to beginning the process where they promise to dedicate themselves to the process. If the collaborative process fails, the couple must start over in a traditional divorce litigation, including hiring different divorce attorneys to handle the case. This added incentive of lost time and money encourages couples to work through their issues in a collaborative divorce.

Call or Contact Our Office Today

Divorce mediation and collaborative divorce are quickly growing in popularity for couples who wish to end their marriage but without the animosity and stress that comes with traditional courtroom drama. If you would like to learn more about either process for your divorce case, call or contact a Tampa divorce attorney at the office of Blair H. Chan, III today.





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