Traditional Litigation: Each spouse typically hires an attorney and proceeds to bring any issue that they cannot resolve with their attorneys during a private meeting to court. The spouse will have to wait for a court date for each issue that needs to be solved, which furthers the process. The lack of communication between both spouses tends to create more tension, hurt feelings and resentment, leading to vengeance. Litigation tends to take 2-3 years, and within those 3 years attorney costs need to be considered.
Collaborative Mediation: This process involves each spouse hiring their own attorneys, but also hiring a mental health professional (with the qualifications of collaboration and mediation certification) and a financial analyst. The spouses and their 2 attorneys decide on a general amount of times they will need to meet as a group and then proceed from there to discuss the important decisions that have to be made regarding the divorce. By meeting outside of the court system, in a private setting, with the support of a mental health coach, a CPA, and 2 attorneys, the spouses have the ability to resolve important matters, while staying focused on the issues at hand instead of letting hurt feelings and resentment control their decisions. Collaborative Mediation takes less time than traditional litigation because couples are able to hash out their issues during the collaborative meetings, which means less time spent in the courthouse, waiting for a court date, and meeting individually with the attorney. The most important aspect about collaborative divorce mediation is that the divorcing couple makes all of the decisions about their futures, property, children, pets, homes, finances, etc. This process is all about the couple, and it is up to them to show up and work collaboratively in order to have a successful civil divorce.
* This process can also work for couples who are not legally married but who are separating or who share children and assets and would like to collaboratively decide on a custody agreement or financial agreement without involving the court system.