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Featured Articles A Comparison of Mediation and Collaborative Law

A Comparison Of Mediation And Collaborative Law

Mediation and collaborative divorce are two popular ways of ending a marriage. These methods can allow divorcing spouses to negotiate their own terms.

No divorce is ever easy, but for spouses who are willing to discuss and negotiate respectfully, ending a marriage may be simplified. This type of divorce is often called amicable or uncontested divorce – meaning that the terms of the divorce aren’t determined through litigation. Divorcing spouses in Louisiana may be able to settle their disagreements through mediation or collaborative law.

Mediation

Uncontested divorce, according to the American Bar Association, can be beneficial because it is usually more cost-effective and less stressful than a litigated split. Mediation is quite popular for these reasons, as well as numerous other advantages. These may include the following:

  • Reducing the conflict in children’s issues such as parenting plans and child support
  • Teaching spouses negotiating and communication tools to use in future dealings with each other
  • Being private and informal, as opposed to courtroom settings
  • Allowing spouses to reach terms that both can agree with

During mediation, a certified mediator or attorney with mediation experience will discuss the issues with both spouses and may make suggestions that can help them resolve arguments. The mediator must be impartial, and spouses may also consult with an attorney. Mediation may be complete in only one session, although it more often takes several sessions before the divorce agreement is finalized.

Collaborative Law

A collaborative divorce, according to U.S. News, involves each spouse’s own attorney and may also involve other professionals, such as child therapists and financial advisors. The issues brought up during collaborative law are usually more complex than those in a mediated divorce. However, divorcing couples may find a collaborative effort more beneficial than litigation. If they are unable to reach an agreement, the attorneys must step down from the case and each spouse must find new attorneys.

There are some instances in which uncontested divorce may not be possible or the best option. For example, if domestic violence was present during the marriage or one or both spouses abused alcohol or drugs, litigation may be the better choice. The same is true if one spouse feels intimidated by the other or is at a significant financial disadvantage.

Each divorce is unique and highly personal. Therefore, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages to uncontested and litigated divorce before making a choice. A Louisiana family law attorney with experience in uncontested divorce should be able to evaluate a client’s individual circumstances before suggesting the option that may be best for his or her situation.

Betsy A. Fischer Attorney Betsy A. Fischer
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