When it comes to getting a divorce, you are already emotional and confused, so you truly do not know anything about mediation or collaborative law in Texas. Neither one is the best choice of course, because working your problems out would have been your first solution. However, when it comes to choosing between the two options, you need to know the pros and cons, before making a decision.
Key Features of Mediation
- A neutral person helps you to come to an agreement
- The mediator does not have the power to make a decision in your case
- The proceedings are informal and flexible
- Inexpensive when compared to the litigation process
- Less time consuming than going to divorce court
- You have no obligation to hire a lawyer and go into court
Key Features of Collaborative Divorce
- You are both represented by collaborative lawyers
- All of you have to sign a no court agreement and the attorneys have to withdraw if the case goes to court
- It is less expensive than litigation
- You and your attorneys have four-way meetings
You should do your research and talk to a reputable lawyer, then weigh the pros and cons of each. While mediation is a less expensive way of coming to an agreement about issues in your divorce, collaborative law is better if there is a power imbalance in your relationship that needs to be worked out.
You need to talk to your lawyer and your spouse to determine which is the best option for your needs. Whether you choose mediation or collaborative law, it is always better to be educated about both processes if at all possible.
Divorce is a dreadful thought for most people. It conjures up images of court battles over the most personal issues we can imagine. These sensitive matters are given to strangers to decide based on laws and cases that don’t take into account our individual situation. Worst of all, our children get pulled apart in the process.
While divorce is a difficult decision, it does not have to be the mass destruction that we fear most. Over the past few decades, a community of attorneys, therapists, financial planners, and others have been working to create an alternative path for couples who have decided that divorce is necessary but who want to move through the process with dignity and, if applicable, focusing on the best interest of the children.
Collaborative Law is the result of these efforts. With Collaborative Law, you and your spouse agree to engage specially trained lawyers who guide you through a series of non-adversarial meetings to design an agreement tailored to your specific needs and goals. You can engage additional team members such as a financial expert, a child development specialist or therapists to help you and your spouse in the decision-making process.
While all divorce is painful and challenging, the Collaborative process affords you and your spouse the opportunity to maintain your dignity and integrity as you end your marriage. If you have children, it offers the best possibility of preserving the parenting relationship, which, for better or worse, lasts a lifetime.
Consider the Collaborative process if you want to keep things as civil as possible but you don’t see eye to eye on what should happen with your assets and debts, retirement benefits, spousal support and children’s issues.