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What is the difference between collaborative law and mediation?

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2021 | Divorce |

Many Long Island residents realize that, even if their marriage or long-term relationship is coming to an end, it might be better for everyone to try to work things out without a contentious court hearing.

For example, it is commonly talked about how children fare better when, even if their parents are going through a divorce, the parents are at least able to be on the same page with respect to their children.

Mediation and collaborative law are two ways in which divorcing parents can try to resolve whatever issues they may have as they set out on separate paths of life.

Both are designed with the goal of avoiding the time, expense and stress of preparing for and then having a trial before a New York judge.

Mediation can help a couple negotiate difficult issues

A couple may think that they are simply too far apart in their views to be able to negotiate. However, a skilled family mediator can work with a couple to come up with a compromise on issues related to property as well as issues related to child custody.

The mediator is not supposed to make decisions for the couple but should be able to point out where each side may want to compromise. The mediator may want to meet with the couple several times.

The process is voluntary at all stages and is also confidential. If either side does not want to agree, the case will continue toward trial.

If the couple does reach an agreement, the mediator may write it down so that each person can review it with his or her attorney.

Collaborative law will involve attorneys working toward an agreement

Collaborative law is different from mediation. The couple, and their attorneys, agree to work among themselves to reach a divorce settlement that is fair to both sides.

In order to foster dialogue and cooperation, both attorneys will agree that if the process winds up not working out, they will withdraw from the case and let the couple hire new attorneys to go to court.

The couple may have their disagreements to negotiate, but during the collaborative process, the goal is to find common ground as opposed to winning one’s argument.

When meeting, the couple may even wish to call in financial experts, counselors and other professionals to help them make the best decisions possible.