Divorce mediation is a voluntary process where divorcing couples work together with a trained mediator to negotiate and resolve their differences in a non-adversarial forum. In mediation, no one decides who is right and who is wrong, or who wins and who loses. The mediator facilitates communication and helps you to clarify and articulate particular needs and interests and then to assist the parties in creating and evaluating options.
For many divorcing couples, mediation has become a viable alternative to the financial costs and emotional toll of traditional adversarial legal representation. Sensibly used, mediation provides the opportunity to find fair and realistic solutions to the economic and practical issues facing the family and also helps to heal the psychological rift. Mediation is based on the premise that the people getting divorced are in the best position to make decisions that will have long-term personal and financial consequences on their lives.
While Collaborative Law and mediation may share some aspects, it is different from mediation in the following respects:
- Collaborative Law provides targeted legal, emotional and financial support from the inception of the case.
- Collaborative Law corrects imbalances in power, personality, information and financial resources that may exist between husband and wife.
- Collaborative Law provides vitally important support for a spouse who is not as effective an advocate for himself/herself.
- Collaborative Law provides checks and balances that improve the chances of achieving a good settlement.