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Collaborative Law vs. MediationWhen a divorce is decided upon, many states have a clause under family law that couples must first go to mediation to try to settle any problems and potentially reconcile and save the marriage. This is especially the case if the couple have been together for 10 years or more, or if children are involved. Mediation is the process in which a third party, usually an assigned lawyer, meets with both parties simultaneously and works through their issues in order to have them cancel the dissolution of marriage. If this is not the case, this lawyer will inform the courts that divorce is going to be the end result.

There is an alternative to mediation that some states allow, and this is collaborative law. This is a much cheaper and easier means to agreeing upon the terms of dissolution. Many people choose this option if it is available for the simple fact that its a more hassle free option.

Collaborative Law
Collaborative law, or collaborative divorce, is a way for divorcing couples to respectfully and more efficiently dissolve their marriage, without going though the court system and essentially saving more money in the process. Collaborative divorce focuses on minimizing conflict and thus placing the spouses in control of all necessary and applicable decision-making. The process is often far less costly both emotionally and financially than the traditional path to divorce.

Collaborative law is an inexpensive alternative option to deal more effectively with potential problems for spouses who may not be as prepared for mediation as others, or for those who simply don’t want to take their case to courts. Each party has quality legal advice and advocacy built in at all times during the process. Even if either party lacks negotiating skill, or is emotionally upset or angry, the process is equalized by the presence of the skilled advocates during collaborative law, just as there would be during mediation, except for the fact that the neutral party will not be a lawyer. It is the responsibility of the attorneys to encourage their clients to be reasonable to make sure that the process stays positive and productive.

Less Stress All Around
The collaborative process can be used to facilitate a broad range of other family issues, including disputes between parents and the drawing up of pre- and post-marital contracts. More often than not, this option is taken because it serves as a much less costly alternative to mediation, and typically the most amicable of divorces are settled upon through collaborative law.

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