When you married your spouse, you probably thought your marriage would last forever. Divorce is a painful process, and issues like child support, custody, and property division are likely the last things you want to think about.
Mediation and collaborative divorce offer you two ways to avoid a nasty divorce court battle. Are you wondering, “Mediation or collaborative divorce: Which is right for me?” Let us help you decide.
What is Mediation?
In mediation, both spouses try to agree on matters in a way that benefits each of them. Mediation is appealing if you’d like to avoid a lengthy and stressful battle in court.
During the divorce mediation process, a neutral person guides the discussion. This person helps spouses reach an agreement on asset division, child custody, and other important matters.
You don't need a collaborative attorney for mediation, but some people like to have their lawyer there to keep things fair. You should know that lawyers only represent their clients, but mediators can’t favor one spouse over the other.
Unlike in divorce court, where the judge decides everything, the mediator can’t make any choices for you. That means it’s up to you and your spouse to settle things amicably.
Mediation is much cheaper than a divorce trial, too. If you’re able to keep things civil with your former spouse, mediation might make sense for you.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
At first glance, collaborative divorce seems similar to mediation, and in many ways, it is. Just like mediation, both spouses want to reach a fair agreement that benefits them.
Unlike mediation, both spouses need to have their own collaborative divorce attorney. It’s the attorneys’ job to guide them during the collaborative divorce process.
To start, each spouse signs a collaboration agreement. They promise to treat each other with honesty, dignity, and respect. They’ll also promise to reach an agreement via the collaborative process instead of in court.
Collaborative divorce might also include neutral professionals such as accountants, real estate brokers, and parenting coaches.
This process is more expensive than mediation because it requires the help of a collaborative lawyer. Even so, it’s still cheaper than divorce court.
Is Mediation or Collaborative Divorce Right for You?
Divorcing without a vicious court battle may seem appealing to you, but these options aren’t right for everyone. If one spouse has verbally or physically abused the other, for instance, going through divorce court may be your only option. Likewise, if there’s a power imbalance in your relationship, mediation and collaborative divorce may not be the best choice.
Call a Collaborative Lawyer for Your Virginia Divorce
Divorce court battles can be difficult for everyone involved. If your divorce goes to trial, the process can go on for months and cost you thousands in attorney fees. But with mediation and collaborative divorce, it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you’d like help with mediation or collaborative divorce, call DiPietro Law Group at (888) 530-4374 today.