Choosing Mediation or the Collaborative Divorce Process
As a mediator and as a Collaborative Divorce Facilitator (CDF), I think there are similar and different benefits to using either the mediation or the Collaborative divorce law process. Both processes provide an opportunity for spouses to work together amicably to create parenting plans in the best interests of their children and to equitably divide their property. Both allow for a third party neutral to help spouses address their emotional needs as well as the formal issues necessary for finalizing a divorce or legal separation.
The mediation process can offer a lower cost option for couples to divorce. However, although the mediator can provide legal or financial information, the mediator is an impartial third party who cannot provide legal or financial advice. Therefore, the extent of the spouses’ need for legal or financial advice will impact the effectiveness and cost of the mediation process.
When financial or legal issues are complex or one or both spouses need emotional or legal support, the Collaborative divorce model can be ideal. Because the spouses receive legal and financial advice to help them make informed decisions, the CDF can focus on helping the spouses identify goals and move forward in the process while addressing their emotional needs.
By Beth Brown-Ornstein, Mediator, Collaborative Divorce Facilitator,