In the past, there was often only one route to take if you and your spouse wanted to get a divorce – that route was litigation. Different forms of alternative dispute resolution have been increasingly used to reach an agreement during a divorce. It is the general consensus that litigation is a last resort when going through a divorce and for good reason. Litigated divorces are often long and drawn out, in addition to being extremely costly and contentious. Because of this, two forms of alternative dispute resolution – collaborative and mediated divorces – have gained in popularity. Though the end goal is the same, these two types of divorce methods are quite different.
In a mediated divorce, you and your spouse deal with one attorney who acts as an intermediary when settling issues during your divorce. Proponents of mediated divorces state that divorce mediation is more peaceful, can be accomplished quicker than other divorce methods and allow you to make your own decisions about your divorce, rather than having a judge make them.
A mediated divorce is typically only appropriate (or effective) when the couple has little to no disagreements about the issues they are discussing. Mediated divorce typically does not make sense in situations in which one spouse is controlling and the other is submissive, or in situations in which either spouse may not be completely truthful.
For spouses who do not want to resort to litigation, but have many disagreements, a collaborative divorce may be useful. In a collaborative divorce, each spouse has their own attorney that is trained in collaborative law and is there to advise you and assist you with making your decisions. In addition to the attorneys, collaborative divorces also typically involve other professionals, such as financial planners, divorce coaches, child specialists or even property appraisers. You and your spouse must sign an agreement stating that you will settle your issues outside of court before you begin the collaborative process. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement during collaboration, you will both have to hire new attorneys and head to the courtroom.
As with a mediated divorce, a collaborative divorce allows you to make your own decisions and can be much quicker than relying on the court system to complete your divorce. Although a collaborative divorce is likely to cost more than a mediated divorce, the cost typically comes in less than a litigated divorce. Like mediated divorces, collaborative divorces are often easier on the whole family because of the cooperative nature of the process.
An Elmhurst, IL Collaborative Law Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Options
Though these two types of alternative divorce methods are different from one another, this is not to say that one method is better than the other. Divorce situations are all different and what works for one couple may not necessarily be the right choice for you. If you are unsure of the type of divorce method for your situation, contact our team at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC. Our skilled DuPage County collaborative law lawyers are more than happy to help you through your divorce. Call our office today at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.