divorce mediation

Mediation and Collaboration; A New Approach to Divorce

Although taking your divorce through the courts is still one way to divide your property and finalize the time share agreement of your children, there is a better solution for many families. Through mediation and collaboration you can come to a fair and agreed upon settlement that works for you. Although it’s not the perfect solution for every family, if you’re looking for a different way to separate and settle the matter, consider going through mediation or using collaborative law.

Most people have a good understanding of mediation. They meet together with a neutral third party who helps them each feel like they’ve come away with something they wanted or come to understand why the other party finds something to be important to them. Mediators can help with brainstorming ideas and keeping the two parties focused on their purpose rather than what split them apart in the first place.

What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative law is less well known but its purpose is similar to mediation in that collaboration helps keep them out of the courtroom where a judge will make the final decision. Each party has their attorney for representation. However, before the process begins, each spouse agrees to openly disclose everything from financials to property as well as the issues they see in relation to the children. Whereas mediation is more of a compromise, collaboration’s goal is for both parties to walk away feeling like they’ve won.

Both collaboration and mediation give an alternative to the traditional courtroom setting for divorce. They both also work to protect the children from the harsh words often hurled in the process. Minimizing the effects of the divorce on your children should be a mutual goal. If you find it’s not possible for the other parent to agree to the best interests of your children, they may need a Guardian ad Litem.

Role of a Guardian ad Litem

A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is appointed by the court to protect the children in a divorce situation. This specially trained person receives an order from the court that can be very narrow, like investigating the alcohol or drug abuse by one parent, or it could be broad in scope. The goal is to find a shared parenting situation that’s in the best interest of the child. They can take into consideration the age of the child, the living situation of each parent, the child’s relationship with each parent, and the parent’s ability to cooperate in a shared parenting situation.

If you’re facing divorce but don’t want to publicly air your issues in a courtroom, Wagstaff Law Offices can work with you to find the best solution for you and your children. We are here to make one of the most difficult times in your life a little easier. Call for your consultation today 727-584-8182.