How Does Collaborative Divorce Differ From Divorce Mediation?
Many divorcing Florida couples have questions about the differences between collaborative divorce and mediation. This is understandable as both are non-adversarial processes, voluntary and highlight compromise along with finding mutually agreeable solutions. That being said, they are not interchangeable. A collaborative divorce proceeding is an entirely distinct legal process. Further, for many Florida couples, collaborative divorce offers important benefits over divorce mediation.
Four Reasons Why Collaborative Divorce May Be a Better Choice Than Mediation:
- Qualified Legal Representation, Working Together
During the Florida collaborative divorce process, both spouses will be represented by their own divorce lawyer. The lawyers involved in this process will have specialized training and experience in handling collaborative proceedings. This is in stark contrast to divorce mediation, where sometimes, legal representation may not be present at all. Additionally, in a collaborative divorce, the lawyers work together towards a solution. It is a joint process. The bottom line is that having training and experience in the room can do a lot to help facilitate the process.
- An Efficient Discovery Process
Many different issues can slow a divorce down. One of the major issues to watch out for is information sharing. Sharp disagreements over the sharing, or alleged hiding, of information are common. It is understandable that this can become an issue. Access to complete information is critically important for all parties involved in a divorce. This is where the collaborative divorce process provides a key benefit. It pushes divorcing couples towards more efficient information sharing. Typically, couples voluntarily agree to full disclosure of all relevant information when they sign the collaborative divorce participation agreement.
- Timing Is Everything
While mediation is a useful process, the timing of it can sometimes be its downfall. In many Florida divorce cases, mediation comes late in the overall process. As a result, mediation starts to blend into the litigation process. Sometimes, mediation will occur after litigation has already started. In contrast, the explicit goal of going through the collaborative divorce proceedings is to avoid the costly, lengthy and often contentious process of litigation altogether.
- No Separation
Finally, as a functional matter, during the proceeding itself, there is no physical separation of the partners. During a divorce mediation, the mediator will often send the parties out of the room so that they can have a private discussion with one side of the dispute. While this can be useful, it can also serve to break up a productive process. Collaborative divorce does not encourage such a separation. Much of the time, this will result in divorcing couples taking it upon themselves to work towards a joint solution.
Schedule Your Initial Divorce Consultation Today
At the Law Office of Gale H. Moore P.A., we are dedicated to helping our clients find the most practical solution for the sensitive family law needs. For many couples, collaborative divorce is the answer. To learn more about whether or not it is right for you, please reach out to our Clearwater collaborative divorce attorney today at (727) 584-2528. Our firm is located in Largo and we represent clients throughout the region, including in Clearwater, Tarpon Springs and Saint Petersburg.