If you’ve reviewed the mediation and collaborative law sections of our website, you might be wondering how collaborative law differs from mediation. While many times the outcome of collaborative divorce and mediation are the same, there are several key differences. Unlike collaborative divorce, mediation is a process in which the parties work with a professional neutral facilitator to assist in your negotiations. In a collaborative divorce, your lawyers assist in your negotiation without the presence of a professional neutral or mediator.
Mediation, a proven and fruitful process, can take place either with or without your attorney. In fact, mediation can take place with all the parties together, or the individual parties in separate rooms, with the mediator acting as a go between. Each form of mediation has its own advantages and disadvantages, and both methods have been successful for most divorcing couples. In the collaborative process, your attorney is always with you in negotiations. Collaborative divorce is structured from an interest-based perspective, and sometimes the bargaining “chips” employed in mediation can be more position-based. In collaborative law divorces, problems are discussed, options are found, negotiations are held and solutions are found together in an open environment.