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Differences between mediation and collaborative divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Divorce, Family Law |

When a marriage ends, the couple must decide how to move forward, how to get divorced, and whether they will go through the courts.


In recent years, many couples have opted for a less adversarial approach. You may have heard of mediation, which, even though it remains a stand-alone method of solving disputes, has also become a part of the judicial system because the courts sometimes use mediation in divorce proceedings.

Besides mediation, collaborative divorce is another alternative way of getting a divorce that helps the parties avoid going to court but has its own set of rules that everyone involved must follow.

What is a collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce is not mediation. The process of collaborative divorce involves the parties, their attorneys and other professionals, like CPAs or family therapists, who help the couple separate their lives without going through the traditional court process.

One of the primary differences between mediation and collaborative divorce is that mediation on its own does not require attorneys. Collaborative divorce does.

Also, because mediators do not give legal advice, the process of mediation works best when the couple is open, communicative and acting in good faith.

Collaborative divorce requires attorneys and other professionals, and while it is also another method that seeks to help parties dissolve their marriage through conversation, negotiation and the exchange of information, it is more formal than mediation.

Things in common

Both methods have things in common. For example, both mediation and collaborative divorce are less expensive than going to court, and the process is faster.

In both methods, a judge does not decide for the parties. The parties are to decide, and other professionals, whether a mediator or attorneys, are there to help them come to an agreement, not to decide for them.

Ending a marriage is never easy. Whether you are considering a collaborative divorce, mediation or litigation, it is important to know what options exist for you if you file for divorce.

Speak with a legal professional who is familiar with these different methods and can help guide you to the best method for you based on your individual circumstances.