Your marriage might have failed, but does that mean your divorce also has to be contentious? While constant arguments may have led to your divorce, these arguments do not need to bleed into the divorce process. There may be a better way to divorce without having to litigate the matter, including mediation and collaborative law.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a way for you to settle your divorce legal issues out-of-court. You and your ex will sit down with a neutral mediator and work out your divorce settlement together. The mediator is trained to help foster productive communication.
Mediation can often lead to a settlement that will be approved by the court and made binding. Many people are satisfied with mediation because it gave them more control over the results of the divorce process and because mediation is generally quicker and less costly than litigation. You can still be represented by an attorney even if you choose to mediate your divorce.
What is collaborative law?
Collaborative law is another way to settle your divorce legal issues out-of-court. It is a bit more formal than mediation.
In a collaborative divorce, you, your ex and both of your attorneys will agree in writing to settle the divorce out of court. If you fail to reach a complete settlement, and the divorce must be litigated, you will have to find a new attorney to represent you. This gives everyone an incentive to make the collaborative divorce process work.
Your attorney will advise you on your rights during the collaborative law process and can help you negotiate a settlement. You will meet separately with your attorney and your attorney will consult with your ex and their attorney. Other professionals such as financial planners and therapists may also be included in the collaborative divorce process.
Once the collaborative divorce process is completed, you will still need to go to court so the judge can approve your settlement. Still, collaborative law is generally quicker and less costly than litigation and can lead to a satisfactory result.
Hold your head up high
You may think litigation is the only way to resolve your divorce but going to court is not the only way to settle a divorce. Mediation and collaborative divorce are two ways to avoid litigation and allow you to walk away from your divorce with your head held high.