Is a Collaborative Divorce Mediation?

When explaining collaborative divorce, I am often asked if collaborative divorce is the same as mediation.  The answer is simple: No.  A collaborative divorce is not mediation.

Mediation is part of a larger process.  In litigation cases, the parties are required to attend mediation before trial.  The parties don’t have a choice in the litigation process.  They must go to mediation if ordered by the Judge. In some collaborative divorce cases, the parties may agree to attend mediation.  Attending mediation in a collaborative divorce may be useful if the parties are deadlocked.  In both the litigation process and collaborative process, mediation is a small part of those processes.

The collaborative divorce is a structured, formal process. Unlike mediation where the parties meet once, in a collaborative divorce there are a series of structured meetings.  Meetings are organized and an agenda is followed.  Usually there are roughly 4-5 meetings conducted over a few months.

The mediator is in control during the mediation, but in the collaborative process the parties are in control. In a collaborative divorce, the parties’ control what issues are discussed, and they control other aspects of the process.  The parties decide when they are ready to settle and when the process terminates.  In the mediation process, the mediator controls the process and controls how much time he or she spends with each side and the mediator can terminate the process.

A team of professionals is assembled in a collaborative divorce. In a collaborative divorce, a team is assembled.  The team includes attorneys and a neutral financial professional and a neutral mental health professional.  These professionals work together as a team to facilitate a resolution of the divorce.

There are many differences between a collaborative divorce and mediation.  Visit our website to learn more about a collaborative divorce.

Teamwork!

Who wouldn’t want to be part of a team or better yet to have a team of professionals working with you during the divorce process?  It is possible, but only through the collaborative divorce process.  

Unlike litigation, the collaborative divorce process takes place outside of the courtroom, the parties make the decisions, the team works together, and the outcome is crafted by the parties.  The collaborative divorce process focuses on the present and future, not the past.  We discuss the parties’ goals and interests, create options for settlement, and have the opportunity to be creative.  Divorce doesn’t have to be a fight or a war.  The parties can come out of the divorce as friends, loving their children, and united.  

Don’t let a divorce tear apart the family.  There is a better way, a better option.  Collaborative divorce! 

Can forgiveness change the divorce?

Forgiveness. It is a word many of us struggle with. What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process a victim undergoes to change feelings and attitude and overcome negative emotions. 

Forgiveness is not for the other person, but for the person forgiving. In fact, the person who is forgiven does not even need to know. A conversation with the other person or sending a statement or a text message is not necessary. It is simply a change in the emotions and mental state and perspective of the person forgiving. It is to free the person forgiving from feeling anger or resentment or bitterness. Those negative feelings are then replaced with peace and joy. 

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Is it possible to have a peaceful divorce?

Peace of mind…it is something we are all searching for, especially in a divorce. A divorce, by nature, is a stressful event. It evokes all kinds of emotions… fear, anger, sadness, disappointment, joy, relief.  The parties deal with some of the most stressful and emotional issues, i.e., money and children. While a divorce attorney cannot eliminate the stress, there are some ways to minimize the stress and to have a more peaceful divorce. 

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