Mediated vs. Collaborative vs. Litigated Divorce | What is the Difference?

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Choosing amongst the different divorce processes, mediated, collaborative, or litigated divorce, when filing adds another stressor to an already overwhelming situation. It is important to know the differences between the three so that you can make an informed decision on which path to take. Follow along to learn what factors to take into consideration and how a practiced Nassau County divorce lawyer can assist you with whichever process you select.

What is a mediated divorce?

Mediation is a process that involves a neutral third party, otherwise known as the mediator, who will assist the spouses in finding a solution that works for both parties’ best interests. The mediator does not necessarily have to be an attorney. The following are some benefits of opting for the mediation route:

  • It is shorter than a collaborative or litigated divorce as they are not at the mercy of the court.
  • It is less expensive than a collaborative or litigated divorce as they are not at the mercy of attorneys.
  • Spouses have control over making their own decisions rather than the court.
  • The information discussed during the process is kept confidential, which leads to an environment of encouraging open and honest conversations.
  • It is voluntary and can stop at any time.

However, since there are no formal rules, mediation may not be productive for spouses who disagree on most issues, especially significant ones such as property division and child custody, or if domestic violence is involved.

What is a collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce involves the presence of an attorney for each spouse, and they will use negotiation techniques to help move along the divorce process. This option is best for spouses who agree on most issues and who want to get through the divorce process as amicably as possible. Notably, the spouses and their respective attorneys will sign an agreement at the beginning of the collaboration to keep the proceedings confidential and not seek litigation. So, if the spouses are ultimately unable to reach a settlement and want to take the litigation route, they will have to start the process all over again and also find new attorneys to represent them.

What is a litigated divorce?

The most common method is litigated divorce, which occurs when the spouses cannot agree on how to resolve particular issues so a judge decides on every condition of the settlement. This process begins when one party files a complaint with the court, after which the court system sets a schedule for proceedings.

If you believe this is the best path for you, contact a proficient Nassau County divorce lawyer today.

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Barrows Levy PLLC is a dedicated New York law firm focused on providing quality legal services to clients in New York City and Long Island. If you require a lawyer who has notable experience handling family and estate planning matters, we are available to help. Contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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