If you are like many Massachusetts couples facing divorce, you and your spouse may want to separate while minimizing personal conflict and extraordinary expense as well as emotional stress on your children.
Both mediation and collaboration offer important alternatives to a litigated divorce that may help you to navigate your separate paths forward while maintaining control of the final outcome. However, these two methods of alternative dispute resolution do have some important differences.
How does divorce mediation work?
During divorce mediation, you and your spouse may participate in a series of confidential discussion sessions along with a neutral family law mediator. Your mediator may help you discuss areas of conflict, find areas of compromise and pursue unique settlement decisions regarding issues ranging from separating your property to determining workable parenting arrangements.
How is collaborative divorce different?
Collaborative divorce is similar to mediation in that you and your future ex-spouse agree not to pursue litigation and find a way to settle issues through negotiation. However, during collaboration, both you and your spouse may hire your own attorneys, and the four of you may work together with other professionals, like financial planners or therapists, to resolve your separation amicably.
If your divorce goes to court, a judge may have to make vital decisions about your family with limited time and knowledge of your specific circumstances. Both mediation and collaboration offer a way to resolve your disputes while avoiding a potentially costly legal battle with an uncertain outcome for your own future as well as your children’s.