Florida couples going through a divorce can choose how to end their marriage. Collaboration and mediation are two alternatives to a traditional court divorce. It’s important to know how they compare to decide which is better for you.
What is collaborative law?
Collaborative law involves settling any disputes in your divorce by working together with your spouse and both of your respective attorneys as a team. It allows you to avoid going to court to battle while you negotiate on pressing issues rationally.
Unlike mediation for a divorce, collaborative law involves attorneys instead of a neutral third party. If you and your spouse eventually come to an agreement on how to handle matters that are in dispute, you sign a contract that states you agree on various terms, including not going to court.
However, if you’re unable to reach an agreement, the two attorneys withdraw from the case and then you and your spouse go to court to settle things.
What are the main differences between collaborative law and mediation?
In addition to having attorneys represent you and your spouse in collaborative law, there are other differences between that and mediation. Collaborative law isn’t as flexible as mediation as the latter only involves you, your spouse and a mediator. You also have more control with mediation.
Collaborative law for divorce is cheaper than going to court, but it’s not as cheap as mediation. Collaboration is better if there are complex issues involving finances within the marriage.
Both collaborative law and mediation allow for professionals to be brought in throughout the process if necessary. For example, you might need a financial analyst, child specialist or mental health specialist. Unlike traditional court divorce, both processes are also confidential, so you don’t have to worry about your matters being on public record.
Collaborative law is beneficial if you can work calmly with your spouse to settle the disputes in your divorce.