Mediation vs. Collaborative Divorce: How Are They Different?

couple sitting in chairs facing each other

When you and your spouse decide to divorce, it’s imperative to understand the different options you have to end your marriage. While most assume this will culminate in a bitter court battle, this is not always true. In fact, you may be able to work with your spouse through mediation or a collaborative divorce to determine the outcome of the end of your marriage. Though these two options can be similar, they do share key differences. If you are contemplating what your best options are, you’ll want to keep reading. You’ll explore how these differ and why it’s in your best interest to connect with divorce attorneys in Nassau County to discuss your unique circumstances.

What Are the Main Differences Between Mediation and Collaborative Divorce?

On the surface, mediation and collaborative divorce may seem like the same thing, as both involve you working together with your spouse to determine the outcome of the dissolution of your marriage as opposed to going to court and letting a judge decide. However, there are key differences between these two options.

To begin, mediation is the process in which both parties will meet with a neutral third party. This person, the mediator, will facilitate a conversation between both individuals. The mediator will remain natural and will not offer legal advice to either party, instead serving to guide the couple during this process as they discuss the terms and conditions of their divorce. When both couples reach an agreement, the mediator will draft a divorce agreement for both parties to sign.

While a collaborative divorce is similar, in that both parties are communicating with each other to determine the details of their divorce, this communication is done through an attorney. Both parties will obtain legal representation to communicate with each other and negotiate the outcome of their divorce. This requires full transparency, in terms of providing full disclosure regarding your assets and debts to ensure the distribution of assets is fair.

How Do I Know What Option is Right for Me?

Though these two options may seem similar at first, they have significant differences that make them unique. As such, it’s in your best interest to discuss the circumstances of your divorce with an attorney to explore which option is best for you.

It is important to note that neither of these processes will work if there is a power imbalance in the relationship. For example, if your spouse has a history of domestic abuse or financial manipulation, you should not pursue these options.

When you’re going through a divorce and the last thing you want is to litigate the outcome, connect with the team at Barrows Levy. We understand how complex these matters can be, which is why our team is dedicated to exploring all possible avenues for your divorce so you can feel confident in your decisions. Connect with us today to learn how we can assist you.

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