Collaborative Divorce differs from traditional litigation in that it is a voluntary, non-adversarial, and confidential process that allows you, the client, and your spouse to retain much of the control over the outcome of your divorce. Both you and your spouse will have an attorney by your side during the process to advise you and protect your interests. In Collaborative Divorce both attorneys are committed to helping you reach a settlement that you feel is right for your family. You will also have the expertise of financial, parenting and mental health professionals at the negotiations to help you make sound decisions during this difficult time of transition.
In traditional divorce your attorney will handle most of the negotiations while preparing for a trial in front of a judge who then decides the outcome. In all cases communications between you and your attorney are confidential, but in traditional divorce, hearings and trials are open to the public.
Even if your case settles prior to trial the emotional and financial costs spent on hearings and preparation for trial can be devastating. Collaborative Divorce allows you to think about settlement from the start. It allows all of your emotional and financial resources to be targeted toward reaching a settlement that works for your family, not one a judge decides. You can avoid doing battle with your spouse and causing harm to your children in the process.
Mediation is an alternative to litigation but unlike Collaborative Divorce you are not represented by an attorney or other professionals during the process. A mediator is a neutral party, not necessarily an attorney, who will help facilitate negotiations between you and your spouse but cannot advise either of you.