Mediation & Collaborative Law

1.Have you considered mediation or collaborative law?

Both processes aim to resolve disputes without resort to court or formal litigation. Both result in a substantial savings of time and legal expense as well as a reduction in stress. Both enable you to negotiate your own settlement rather than have one imposed upon you by a judge.

2. What is mediation?

The attorney mediator is a neutral professional who assists the parties in defining the issues and negotiating a settlement. The attorney does not represent either party. Mediation is completely voluntary and gives the parties control over both the process and the result. While consulting attorneys may be retained during the mediation process, the attorneys do not usually participate in the mediation negotiations.

3. What is collaborative law?

Each spouse in a collaborative matter has their own attorney. The collaborative attorney advises the client of their rights and works with the opposing collaborative attorney through four-way meetings. Agreement is reached through discussion and negotiation rather than adversarial litigation.

4. How does collaborative law differ from mediation?

While both methods seek to avoid the adversarial process, most mediation sessions involve a neutral mediator and the two parties. Attorneys are only involved as consultants, who do not usually participate in the actual mediation. For some, this process makes them feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. These parties are best served through the collaborative model. Others are comfortable working with their spouse through the guidance of a neutral mediator. For them, mediation with the option of obtaining advice from a consulting attorney is the better choice.