Collaborative Divorce: How is it Different from Divorce Mediation?

Collaborative-Divorce-Blog 408722062

A collaborative divorce is a type of divorce in which both spouses agree to work together with the help of collaborative professionals, such as lawyers, financial experts, and mental health professionals, to resolve their divorce-related issues without going to court. On the other hand, mediation is a dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party, called a mediator, helps the parties involved in a conflict reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The main difference between mediation and collaborative divorce is that in collaborative divorce, both parties have secured legal representation to help them negotiate and represent each party’s best interests.

In a collaborative divorce, each spouse has an attorney, and the attorneys are specially trained in collaborative law. While both mediation and collaborative divorce options lead to effective resolutions, collaborative divorce is an interdisciplinary approach that uses the help of legal representation along with the potential use of a divorce coach, financial planners, and mental health professionals to help assist with these decisions, reduce stress and improve the efficiency of communication.

Divorce Mediation is different in that a neutral person (your mediator) will help you and your spouse negotiate all terms of your divorce. Mediation focuses on cooperative problem-solving, assisting couples in finding common ground and working through their issues amicably without each party having legal representation. Mediation and collaborative divorce often lead to quicker resolution than the court system. Couples can set their schedule for sessions, allowing them to work at a pace that suits their needs. The mediator can help the parties reach an agreement and process their divorce through the courts.

Both mediation and collaborative divorces are less expensive, less time-consuming, and more efficient than traditional litigation in court. Divorce does not have to be accomplished by the traditional, adversarial process!  Both mediation and the collaborative divorce method can help people craft effective, cooperative divorce agreements that are better for all parties involved.  Not only do these processes keep the decision-making power in the hands of the divorcing couple rather than ceding it to a judge, but they are also cost-saving, time-saving, and less stressful, in addition to other advantages.

Hugh O’Donnell is an expert on collaborative divorce and divorce mediation.  As a family law attorney, Hugh helped to introduce the benefits of collaborative divorce to Missouri in 2001 and has since helped to train other family law attorneys within the Greater Kansas City Metro Area in the collaborative divorce method.  He knows the challenges that people face when it is time to divorce and the good that collaborative divorce can do for people. If you believe the collaborative process would benefit you and your family, contact Hugh O’Donnell today to schedule a consultation, or feel free to call (816) 533-5152 with any questions regarding your divorce.