Collaborative divorce, mediation may be better for some couples

Divorce can be a challenging process, no matter who you are and what your circumstances are. Not only that, but divorce can be costly, particularly in acrimonious cases. One of the ways folks may be able to cut down on expenses, and possibly even on fighting, is to take advantage of an alternative way of settling divorce disputes.

One such alternative is to opt for a collaborative divorce, a process in which parties agree that differences will be resolved outside the adversarial process. Both parties are represented by their own attorneys, who promise to withdraw from the case if settlement talks break down, and work with professionals trained in resolving disputes. The goal of the process is to come up with a mutually satisfying arrangement on all issues pertaining to the divorce. 

Collaborative divorce is to be distinguished from divorce mediation, in which parties work with a neutral party to resolve disputes pertaining to the divorce. Mediation has its own unique characteristics, advantages and drawbacks when compared to collaborative divorce, even if the goal of both processes is similar.

Collaborative divorce and mediation can be great solutions for couples who can gain enough of a foothold that they can agree on settling outside of court and who want to save money. These alternatives are not for every couple, though. For some, going before a judge in court is the best way to resolve differences. Also, collaborative divorce and meditation can help facilitate a less stressful divorce, but do not guarantee it. Much of the success of the process depends on the attitude the parties bring to the table. 

Source: CNBC.com, “Collaborative divorce can ease emotional, economic stress,” Deborah Nason, May 2, 2014. 

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