Mediation vs. Collaborative Divorce: What Are the Differences?

frustrated couple in front of attorney

Going through a divorce can be a complex process that requires much consideration to determine the best option for your needs. That’s why exploring all your options when you decide to end your marriage is imperative. Something many are unsure about is the differences between mediation and a collaborative divorce. Though they may seem similar, there are many differences between these options. As such, the following blog explores what you should know about these matters to help you feel confident in how you decide to proceed with your divorce.  You’ll also learn how a Los Angeles divorce attorney can represent you during these matters.

How Do Mediation and a Collaborative Divorce Differ?

Though both options may seem similar in that you aren’t allowing a judge to determine the outcome of your case, these two options have considerable differences.

To begin, mediation is the process in which both parties involved in a divorce meet with a neutral third-party entity. This individual, the mediator, is there to facilitate a conversation between the parties so they can compromise on the terms of their divorce without the intervention of the courts. It’s important to understand that the mediator is not there to provide legal advice to either party and will remain unbiased throughout the sessions.

However, a collaborative divorce occurs when you and your spouse agree to all the different terms of the dissolution of your marriage before filing. It’s important to understand that you must be represented by an attorney for this process, as you and your lawyer will work with your spouse and their legal representation.

As such, the main difference between the two is who is working to represent your best interest. During mediation, you and your spouse are responsible for working out your differences, while during a collaborative divorce, your attorneys are fighting for you. In turn, a collaborative divorce may take longer to complete, as you’ll find that this process can take longer to complete than mediation.

What Should I Do if I’m Getting Ready for a Divorce?

When you’re getting ready to file for divorce, it’s imperative to connect with an attorney for these matters. Unfortunately, you’ll find that this can be a complex process without legal guidance. Though hiring an attorney isn’t necessary for mediation, it’s still in your best interest to do so, as you’ll find they can ensure the agreement you and your spouse reach with the mediator is fair and legally binding.

If you’re unsure which option is best for you and your circumstances, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney who can review your situation and provide further guidance. At the Zitser Family Law Group, we understand how complex these matters can be. As such, we can examine your dynamic to determine what option is best for you. Connect with our legal team today to learn how we can assist you with these complex issues.

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