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Archive for the ‘Mediation vs. Collaborative’ Category

Mediation vs. Collaborative Law: What is the Difference?

Thursday, December 15th, 2022

When spouses in Encinitas attempt to avoid the stress and expense of litigated divorces, they typically choose one of two options: Collaborative law or mediation. While both of these options allow you to avoid a divorce trial, they are also quite different. If you are approaching divorce and you would like to settle your separation behind closed doors, it is important to understand the difference between mediation and collaborative law. Only with a solid understanding can you make the right choice based on your specific circumstances.

How Mediation and Collaborative Law are Similar?

The end result of both mediation and collaborative law is the same. In both methods, spouses are left with a divorce agreement that covers every aspect of their separation. This includes property division, child custody, child support, and alimony. Instead of allowing a judge to make these decisions on your behalf, you can take control of your divorce and do what is best for your family.

Mediation and collaborative law are also similar in that both spouses must agree to participate in both systems. If your spouse is intent on taking the matter to court, there is really nothing you can do about it. Negotiations require spouses to be non-combative and willing to compromise. This means that both mediation and collaborative law may be unsuitable for spouses going through bitter and highly combative divorces.

How Mediation and Collaborative Law are Different?

When you get past these surface-level similarities, it becomes clear that mediation and collaborative law are actually quite different. In the collaborative law process, each spouse brings their own lawyer to the negotiation table. These lawyers only have the best interests of their clients in mind, and they will fight for their clients during the negotiation. This can lead to combative situations even though collaborative law functions best when spouses are willing to cooperate and compromise.

In contrast, mediations involve just one individual leading the negotiations. This person is known as a “mediator.” Instead of keeping the best interests of just one spouse in mind, the mediator keeps the best interests of both spouses in mind. The goal is to approach the negotiations in a truly unbiased and fair manner, guiding the spouses toward outcomes that are best for both parties.

Mediators also receive different training compared to lawyers. Unlike lawyers, they don’t need to learn as much about the court system. This is because mediations are alternatives to trials, whereas lawyers may find themselves arguing in court or behind closed doors during a negotiation. That being said, many mediators graduate from law school and have extensive knowledge of the legal system.

Which is Better?

So which option is better? Many would argue that mediation is much more efficient and cost-effective. First of all, you only need to pay one individual. In contrast, collaborative law requires each spouse to hire their own lawyer. In some cases, one spouse must pay the legal fees for their ex – meaning that they are actually paying for two lawyers. In addition, mediation can be faster to finalize since there is only one person making decisions and providing guidance. In contrast, having two sets of lawyers and two exes can lead to much back and forth. Time is money, and the longer your negotiations continue, the higher your fees will be. Since many spouses choose to avoid litigated divorces primarily for monetary reasons, the cost-effectiveness of mediation is a significant benefit.

Of course, proponents of collaborative law would argue that their system is better. They might say that it makes sense to have someone “in your corner” during negotiations – someone who will fight for your best interests first and foremost. These critics might also point out that mediators could be biased, leading them to favor one spouse over the other during negotiations. However, the best mediators are always fair and balanced, and they’re able to identify their biases and put them aside.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Mediator in California?

If you have been searching for skilled mediators in Encinitas, look no further than Blue Sky Mediation. While collaborative law has its benefits, mediation is often the best choice for spouses who want to settle their divorces quickly, easily, and fairly. Book a consultation today, and we can explain more about the benefits of mediation. From there, you can decide whether you would like to move forward with a mediated divorce. Remember, internet research can only get you so far – so reach out now for real results.

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