Collaboration and mediation are both non-adversarial approaches used for divorce, but they are different. Both are generally preferable to litigation, but they have their own advantages and disadvantages.
How Collaboration and Mediation Differ
While both collaboration and mediation are informal and flexible, and without a doubt less expensive than litigation and often more efficient, there are important differences between the two processes.
Mediation may be used for all family law cases including divorce. It is particularly useful when there are custody disputes.
Essentially, mediation involves a person who is neutral and can help parties negotiate a settlement. The mediator doesn’t represent anybody! A mediator might be an attorney, though this is not a prerequisite, and only one mediator is required even though that person will often spend time alone with the two spouses, rather than negotiating with both of them present.
Some people consider mediation to be a last resort, and certainly, there are many couples that turn to mediation only once the court has made it a requirement. However, more than 90 percent of family law matters are resolved by agreement, so it is definitely worth the effort in divorce cases – unless there has been domestic violence.
Another factor to bear in mind is that all mediations are confidential (unless there has been domestic abuse of some kind), and nobody can subpoena a mediator to give evidence in court.
While the court can insist on mediation, it cannot force the couple to reach any form of agreement, and either spouse can terminate the process at any time.
Collaboration involves two properly trained collaboration attorneys who represent the two parties. They negotiate, together with the spouses, in open meetings and may recommend that other collaborative partners get involved in the process to offer specialized advice. Everybody works together quite literally in collaboration, as a team, to get the best settlement possible.
Like mediation, collaboration isn’t just a solution for divorce it’s a process that can be followed to resolve all kind of issues, including custody and visitation rights.
Mediation and Collaboration Attorneys
Divorce attorneys don’t all offer mediation and collaboration services. Collaboration is an alternative to standard divorce and one that is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Mediation plays an important role in many divorce proceedings, and even though a mediator isn’t necessarily an attorney, it can help if he or she is because an attorney knows the legal processes that must be followed.
If you need a mediation attorneys or an Alpharetta collaboration divorce attorney call the dedicated professionals at Waggoner Hastings Family & Collaborative Law can help. Call us today for a consultation.