Family Law Mediation / Collaborative Divorce


Family Law Mediation / Collaborative Divorce

Divorce mediation is considered to be less costly and typically less stressful than divorce litigation.  Everyone is entitled to their day in court. However, sometimes your spouse will try to go to court every way possible.  If this is the case, there’s not much that can be done and mediation/collaborative divorce is not for your particular situation.  If things are relatively amicable between the two of you even though you have decided to dissolve your marriage, mediation/collaborative divorce may be your answer. Our San Diego Family Law experts will be able to advise you on whether or not this either of these options should be considered.

Family Law Mediation

In Family Law Mediation, you and your spouse will both use the same attorney.  This attorney does not represent either of you as individuals.  The attorney will help you and your spouse work toward a solution.   The attorney will not give you independent legal advice; he or she won’t even advise you on your individual situations.  This attorney will simply give you a general overview of the law.  This is beneficial because you will have the advice you need on which to base your decisions.  In the end, it will be up to you and your spouse to make decisions regarding property, custody of children, non-custodial visitation rights, and support for the children.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce is an Alternative Dispute Resolution process that strives to preserve the emotional and financial resources of the family while achieving an agreement that considers and respects the welfare of everyone in the family. The collaborative divorce model provides divorcing parties the opportunity to solve problems in a private, confidential setting, with the help of their experts, to reach a creative settlement that meets the needs of their entire family.

Collaborative divorce is a process in which you and your spouse negotiate an acceptable agreement with some professional help. You and your spouse each hire a specially trained collaborative attorney who advises and assists you in negotiating a settlement agreement. You meet separately with your own attorney and the four of you meet together on a regular basis. A collaborative divorce may also involve other professionals, such as a child custody specialist or accountants.

Normally, both spouses and their attorneys sign an agreement that requires the attorneys to withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and the case goes to court. This would require both parties in the divorce to hire new attorneys to handle their case and it would be incumbent upon them to accurately explain their efforts for a collaborative divorce, what the sticking points were, and to help their new counsel understand their position and why things didn’t work out.

Contact our San Diego Family Law experts to learn more about each of these options, and to see if either one of them would be right for your situation.