Many couples begin the divorce process in mediation. Mediation can be a great option for couples who are still able to work together to make agreements regarding their children, finances, and property. For others mediation might start off well but over time the couple is no longer able to make agreements and need more support to move forward.
Where do we go from here?
There are other options to consider when mediation is a nonstarter for you and your spouse. One option is to turn to the courts to litigate your divorce. This can force resolutions, but you will not necessarily have much control over those decisions if you are asking a Judge to decide the outcome of your case. Alternatively, you can consider collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce is much like mediation in that you agree not to go to court. Like in mediation you will work on agreements in a series of meetings until you have reached a final resolution in the form of a marital settlement agreement.
What sets collaborative divorce apart from mediation is the number of professionals who are working with you. Unlike mediation, collaborative divorce offers you your own attorney and your own divorce coach. In addition, you will work with a financial neutral and if needed a child specialist who can help give the children’s input. The collaborative process can therefore be a more supportive environment for the couple and the entire family.
Why might collaborative be more helpful for couples who cannot agree?
Collaboration is about people coming together in a group to share ideas. For couples who are struggling with how to resolve issues in their divorce, the power of the group can be very helpful. You have an entire team of professionals: attorneys, mental health professionals, financial specialist, and child specialist all working together to offer a variety of solutions to your problems. This allows collaborative divorce to be more creative and consider more of your interests than other divorce processes.