Advocacy That Puts You First.
Photo of Alicia Lackey

What is collaborative divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2023 | Collaborative Divorce, Divorce |

You may have heard of different types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation and arbitration. Mediation is highly effective in divorce cases, and it avoids having to go to court. While the mediator does not make decisions for the parties, they can provide the parties with the ability to be civil with and around each other, remain calm and negotiate in good faith.

In certain cases, however, mediation is not appropriate. This could be because the parties are not on good terms, there is significant hostility, or the personality of the parties is such that mediation would be futile and ineffective.

Role of the collaborative divorce lawyer

There is a middle ground between mediation and litigation, and that is a collaborative divorce. In collaborative divorce, there is no mediator, and each individual has their own attorney. The role of the attorneys is not to mediate but to advocate for their clients. Collaborative divorce shares some characteristics with mediation in that it is based on the principles of solving conflict through non-adversarial methods, except it is done by lawyers and not a mediator. Both mediation and collaborative divorce involve negotiation and can avoid lengthy court battles.

Benefits of a collaborative divorce

There are many benefits to collaborative divorces, including the facts that:

  • Collaborative divorce is a great middle ground between mediation and litigation.
  • It is a process completely outside of the court system, except for limited instances when the parties need a judge to make a document official, such as a divorce decree.
  • It is a combination of the skills that attorneys bring to the table, such as advocacy, and the benefits of mediation and alternative dispute resolution.
  • The parties can bring in experts of their selection if necessary to assist in many matters, such as discussions about the well-being of the children, financial advisers and more.

Whether you are familiar with the different options that people have when they choose to divorce or this is entirely new to you, it is important to be aware that there are different options for different people.

In deciding how to proceed with your divorce, consider the current relationship between you and your soon-to-be former spouse, your financial situation and how much time you want the process to take. Every option has its pros and cons, and it is worthwhile to look into your choices.