Some divorcing couples in Connecticut find it difficult to work out the terms of their divorce without the help of a judge. However, many couples find that they can avoid a lengthy court battle by settling their divorce outside of court.
If you and your spouse are planning to divorce, you may want to consider a collaborative divorce or mediation.
Both collaborative divorce and mediation serve as effective alternatives to going to court. However, they differ from each other in several ways.
Mediation requires that both parties meet with a neutral third party, or mediator, to discuss all divorce-related issues. Attorneys are not required for mediation, but many people find it helpful to have one on their side throughout the process.
The mediator will address all issues relevant to the divorce, help keep things civil as you negotiate with your ex and make suggestions to help you reach an agreement. Your mediator will then draft a memorandum of understanding with the agreed-upon terms.
Mediation can be beneficial in that it is often much less expensive and less time-consuming than litigation. It can also reduce the amount of conflict between the ex-spouses.
Collaborative divorce uses mediation within an overall framework designed to reduce animosity between the parties and reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
Generally, each spouse is required to hire their own attorney to represent them. Both spouses will then enter into a collaborative agreement, legally requiring them to participate in the collaborative divorce process. The parties and their attorneys will then meet with a mediator to reach an agreement.
One advantage to a collaborative divorce is that the parties can meet with several professionals, including child specialists, mental health professionals, and financial experts, to help resolve various issues.
Both mediation and the collaborative divorce process are good options for couples that want to settle their issues without having to go to court. If you are considering either of these options, consider speaking to a family law attorney with experience in mediation and collaborative law.