Mediation and collaboration are two alternatives to traditional divorce, which involves court negotiations between you, your former partner, and each of your attorneys. If you are looking for a less expensive, and often faster, means to divorce, you may want to consider some form of mediation or collaboration. Typically, these options only work if you and your spouse are able to communicate and are both open to the concept.
What is Mediation?
In mediation, you and your spouse sit down to discuss the issues of your divorce including property distribution, retirement accounts, spousal support, child support, and visitation. You can each have your own mediator or share one. The mediator does not provide legal advice but rather is present to help the two of you come to an agreement on all open issues. Everything said in mediation is private and confidential.
What is Collaboration?
In collaborative divorce, you and your spouse can each have your own attorney or you may share one. The goal is to reach an out-of-court settlement, as it is much less expensive than going through a trial. When you each have your own attorney, he or she will look out for your best interests and help you resolve any open items in a manner that allows both parties to receive a fair settlement.
Collaborative Mediation is Also an Option
If you want to work through as much as you can without an attorney but also want their input, you may want to consider collaborative mediation. As its name implies, it is a combination of mediation and collaboration. In collaborative mediation your lawyer may be present as much or as little as you want. The mediator will help you and your spouse through the many decisions, and then you can consult your attorney on their thoughts regarding the proposed settlement once you have come to some agreement. You may also have your attorney present throughout the mediation. You and your attorney choose the level of support you need.
Wagstaff Law Office offers both mediation and collaboration services from basic mediation to collaborative mediation and full collaboration. We can even step in if you have tried mediation and feel you need more assistance mid-process. Our staff will take the time to understand your situation and help you obtain a fair divorce settlement. Call (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form to schedule your consultation.