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How are mediation and collaboration different?

When most people picture a divorce, they are likely picturing it happening in a courtroom. This type of divorce they are picturing is a trial divorce. Trial divorce may be the most popular version of divorce, but it is not the only version. Depending on your situation, you may be able to choose a variety of divorce that is less stressful and less expensive.

The two most popular alternative versions of divorce are collaborative divorce and mediated divorce. According to Forbes Magazine, the major difference between the two is that collaborative divorce always involves lawyers while mediated divorce may not.

What is a mediated divorce?

A mediated divorce may or may not involve a lawyer. In the event that the mediated divorce does not involve a lawyer, it needs to have a mediator that is very familiar with family law. This mediator does not directly represent either party in the divorce; rather, they simply guide both parties toward an eventual agreement.

Mediated divorce is one of the least expensive varieties of divorce. However, it is not a good choice for extremely high asset divorce or divorces where there are any real disagreements on issues like property division or alimony.

What is a collaborative divorce?

In a collaborative divorce, both parties have a lawyer representing them. However, it is similar to a mediated divorce in that both parties negotiate the terms across a conference table rather than in a courtroom. Collaborative divorces are good for ex-couples who are mostly on good terms and want to have a hand in their own divorce negotiations, but still want to ensure that professionals handle potentially difficult issues like alimony.