Once you have made the decision, you and your spouse will have to decide how you plan on accomplishing a divorce. If you are looking to stay out of court and save money, you might be looking at collaborative divorce or mediation. These two options have many similarities, but they also have some distinct differences. Depending on your preference, needs, and goals, one might be more appropriate for your circumstances than the other. The best way to move forward is to contact an attorney who is experienced in handling both of these approaches to determine the most suitable for your circumstances.
Here is what you need to know about the differences between collaborative divorce and mediation:
- Mediation: The mediation process, will allow you and your spouse to stay out of court and keep the details of your split private. With the assistance of a neutral third-party, known as a mediator, you and your spouse will work on negotiating the terms of your agreement. The role of the mediator is not to advocate for either party, but rather to help facilitate fruitful negotiations. If you or your spouse veer off-target, he or she will refocus the conversation, and steer you so you get the most out of the mediation process. You and your spouse will each have the option of having an attorney present to provide advice, though it is not required. If you are concerned about the potential of reaching an agreement that does not serve your best interests or comport with the law, you should be prepared to mediate with an attorney present. For spouses with children, mediation provides a way to begin working on a more cooperative relationship, which will come in handy for your future as co-parents.
- Collaborative Divorce: Negotiation and cooperation are at the heart of a successful collaborative divorce. However, unlike mediation, both parties must retain his or her own collaborative divorce attorney and will not have a neutral third-party to moderate the sessions. That said, it is the goal of your respective attorneys and other collaborative professionals to ensure you are able to work achieve a mutually-agreeable outcome, so you can expect them to do their best to keep the conversation peaceful and focused on the issues at hand. In the event that you cannot successfully reach an agreement, your collaborative divorce attorneys will be disqualified from representing you in any future litigation, which means you and your spouse will need to find different attorneys to represent you if your case goes to court. As such, it is in your best interests to keep an open mind and to compromise where possible.
Not all divorce cases are suitable for mediation or collaborative divorce. However, these options will allow you to cut costs on your divorce and help you achieve results at a speedier pace, so keep them in mind as you move forward and choose legal representation.
Schedule a Consultation with a Team that is Experienced in Handling Mediation and Collaborative Divorce!
If you and your spouse are interested in more amicable approaches for dissolving your marriage, reach out to the team at K. Dean Kantaras, P.A. to learn more about the mediation and collaborative divorce process. Our team has the knowledge and experience to navigate you through both of these options and will help you determine which is best for you.
Contact us today at (727) 939-6113 to schedule a consultation!