You and your spouse don’t have to engage in an epic battle over the division of your property or the creation of a parenting plan because you want to divorce. You can potentially work together, avoiding all of the expense and possible embarrassment involved in divorce litigation.
There are multiple ways for you and your spouse to work together in a divorce filing, but collaborative divorce and divorce mediation are probably the most common and popular options. If you think that alternative dispute resolution would be the right approach for your upcoming divorce, understanding the differences between collaborative divorce efforts and divorce mediation can help you push for the solution that will work best for you.
Collaborative law involves working together with your own attorneys
In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse negotiate all of the details outside of the courtroom. Usually, this process involves each spouse having their own attorney present to help advocate for them. Legal guidance is also important to ensure that none of the terms you set violate Illinois state law and put you at risk of a judge refusing to approve your agreement.
Collaborative law can be a great option for those who would like an amicable solution but worry about incurring extra expenses in mediation due to an uncooperative spouse. Agreeing to try collaborative proceedings is non-binding, which means that either party can choose to revert to litigation if necessary when collaboration doesn’t work.
Mediation brings in outside help to facilitate cooperation
Having your own attorneys helps ensure that you don’t make mistakes and that neither spouse takes advantage of the other, but it can also lead to a place where neither spouse will change their demands, making litigation appear necessary.
Mediation can help those who experience a negotiation log jam or who simply don’t want to try direct collaboration on their own. A mediator is a trained professional who should be neutral. They help both parties with effective communication and can guide negotiations in a way that makes compromise a little bit easier.
Mediation is not a binding process until you reach the end and both sign an agreement. Typically, spouses going through mediation will have their attorneys review the terms they set before signing anything binding.
Exploring modern options like divorce mediation can help make your divorce calmer and possibly more cost-effective for your family.