What Is The Difference Between Mediation And Collaborative Law?
If you and your spouse need help resolving one or more issues in your family law dispute, mediation or collaborative law may provide a solution. Both are less costly and less stressful than litigation.
I’m family law attorney Eileen Thomas. I am an experienced mediator and one of the founding members of the Atlanta Collaborative Divorce Alliance. I am here to help you explore alternatives to litigation when it comes to divorce or other family law issues. I serve clients in the Atlanta metro area and northern Georgia.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is the most common way to resolve family law disputes out of court. Most Georgia judges order mediation before the parties can proceed to trial.
In many cases, couples work with two mediators: a mental health professional to resolve parenting issues and a financial mediator for issues such as splitting up property and preparing you and your spouse for the financial realities of maintaining two households instead of one. Attorneys may or may not be present in mediation sessions.
Mediation puts you and your spouse in complete control of reaching an uncontested divorce settlement. As your attorney, I can draft the agreement you and your spouse reach through mediation. I can also represent either you or your spouse in mediation.
What Is Collaborative Law?
If you need more support in negotiating an agreement with your spouse, collaborative law may provide a solution. In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse are each represented by a lawyer during negotiations. You can also call upon experts such as a neutral mental health professional and financial adviser. All parties work collaboratively to reach a solution that is best for the entire family.
If you can’t reach agreement, litigation is still an option. However, both attorneys sign an agreement not to represent you or your spouse in litigation. This provides a motivation to your attorneys to help you reach an agreement.