How is Divorce Mediation Different from Collaborative Divorce


The Missouri Supreme Court defines divorce mediation as “a process in which a neutral third party facilitates communications between the parties to promote settlement.” By utilizing family divorce mediation and/or the collaborative divorce method, you can avoid further disagreements by working together to make the best decisions possible for all parties involved.

The divorce process and resolving civil disputes can be extremely challenging for most people.  Often people are emotionally overwhelmed at the exact time when they need to be thinking clearly and making sound decisions that will shape their futures for years to come. The main difference between divorce mediation and collaborative divorce, is that in collaborative divorce, both parties have secured legal representation to help them negotiate and represent each parties’ best interests. In mediation, the mediator will provide legal information to the parties, but doesn’t represent either one of them.  However, each party may also have a separate attorney in divorce mediation. While both options lead to effective resolutions, these processes also keep decision-making power in the hands of the divorcing couple rather than ceding it to a judge. There are cost savings, time savings and less stress in addition to many other advantages in regard to both methods.

Collaborative divorce is an interdisciplinary approach which 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, and to reduce stress and improve the efficiency of communication. Mediation is different from collaborative divorce in that a neutral person (your mediator) will help you and your spouse negotiate all terms of your divorce but has no power to decide the case. The divorce mediation specialist can, however, assist the parties in reaching an agreement and help them process their divorce through the courts.  Both mediation and collaborative divorce are less expensive, less time-consuming, and are more efficient than traditional litigation in court.

Hugh has spent his career in family law in Kansas City working to improve his skills as a divorce mediation expert, collaborative divorce attorney and litigator.  Hugh’s goal for all his clients is a path toward the resolution that best works for them and is committed to helping people use divorce mediation and collaborative divorce to build a better future for themselves.  You can find more information about both methods on his website. If you find yourself in need of wanting a more peaceful and effective solution over a traditional divorce process with litigation, divorce mediation and collaborative divorce may be the best option for you!  The best way to receive legal advice is to contact Hugh F. O’Donnell to request a consultation, or call (816) 533-5152 to schedule a meeting as soon as possible.