Divorce Mediation vs. Collaborative Divorce

Divorce Mediation vs. Collaborative Divorce

collaborative divorce When a decision to divorce has been made, the next step is determining how you will divorce. There are a few different ways to get a divorce and because every circumstance is unique, which way is best for a couple to divorce is highly individual and depends on many factors. If you have decided to try to avoid traditional divorce involving courts and litigation, you may consider mediation or a collaborative divorce. Although the two sound somewhat similar, there are actually some differences.

What is Divorce Mediation

For spouses seeking to achieve a less combative and public divorce experience than divorce litigation, divorce mediation is an excellent option. Divorce mediation works well for many couples, even couples that are in disagreement or not in communication with each other, that want to divorce but would prefer to avoid a hostile, stressful, and lengthy process. Mediators are trained in both law and psychology and will facilitate respectful and fair negotiations between both parties to reach a mutually agreeable solution. 

What is Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is very similar to mediation but with collaborative divorce, both parties agree to work together but they each have separate collaborative attorneys. Although they represent the separate interests of each spouse, they remain committed to achieving a settlement. The attorneys pledge in writing to stay out of court under all circumstances. Because of this commitment to settling outside of court, many people are left wondering if their respective collaborative attorneys actually truly represent their interests or if the only priority is achieving a settlement. If either spouse becomes dissatisfied with the process or their representation, if they threaten to go to court, or if a settlement simply cannot be achieved, both collaborative attorneys must withdraw.

Making an Informed Decision on Divorce Mediation or Collaborative Divorce

In the end, divorce mediation is often more efficient and cost-effective than collaborative divorce. The process is similar without the complication of competing attorneys and binding agreements to which they must adhere. If you are trying to determine which type of divorce is best for your needs, consult an experienced divorce mediator that can discuss your options with you and help you make an informed decision. 

About Oliver Ross

Oliver Ross, JD*, PhD founded Out-of-Court Solutions Inc. in 1995 and since then has mediated over 3,000 divorce and family matters. He is a select member of the Maricopa Superior Court Family Mediation roster