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The difference between collaborative divorce and mediation

As many California residents are likely aware, the media thrives on broadcasting stories involving tumultuous and emotionally explosive divorces. While there is no doubt that divorce can be messy, this is not always the case. Amicable solutions are possible, though they may not get as much coverage in the news. It is often possible to satisfy divorce goals and find amicable solutions through the process of collaborative divorce.

Though similar, collaborative divorce and divorce mediation have their differences. According to one article, the chief difference between collaborative divorce and divorce mediation is that mediation only involves one legal professional, the mediator; in collaborative divorce, however, both parties have their own attorneys. These attorneys protect the interests of each party. The structure within which both parties work is one that is collaborative, rather than combative.

In collaborative divorce, both parties will sit around a table and establish what issues the divorcing couple will have to deal with. Rather than mediation, where one neutral legal professional will sit between the divorcing couples and guide them along the process, each divorcee will have his or her own legal professional looking out for his or her interests and helping find solutions.

For some, collaborative divorce or mediation are frameworks in which to work towards amicable solutions. They can allow some divorcees to save time through efficient and expert guidance. What's more, collaborative divorce and mediation can be cheaper and less emotionally trying than litigation. However, they are not always the right choice for every couple. Some couples will need to settle their divorce cases in court. In any case, knowing what options are available and what they entail can help divorcing couples decide what avenue to pursue.

Source: CNBC, "Collaborative divorce can ease emotional, economic stress," Deborah Nason, May 2, 2014

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