Some people may think that every divorce must end in a courtroom show-down pitting one spouse against the other. However, this does not have to be the case. Many couples in Falls Church settle their divorce out-of-court using alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation and collaborative law.
Mediation and collaborative law have some things in common. Both of these strategies aim to help couples reach an agreement on their own and avoid litigation. They are often cheaper and less time-consuming than litigation as well. In both mediation and collaborative divorce, each party can retain an attorney. Both mediation and collaborative divorce are confidential. And, couples who settle their divorce out-of-court may be more satisfied in the outcome, as they had a say in reaching it.
However, there are some differences between mediation and collaborative law. For example, mediation is not binding on the couple. With the help of a neutral third-party mediator, couples can address the issues they face in their divorce. But if they only resolve some of their divorce issues, those resolutions may be honored, and any unresolved issues can be settled by a judge. In a collaborative divorce, the spouses and their attorneys agree to reach a settlement on all their divorce issues. If spouses are unable to do so, they must go through the litigation process with a different attorney.
So, while mediation and collaborative divorce are similar, there are some key differences. Determining what process is right for you is a very personal decision that will depend on your ability to cooperate with your spouse. Attorneys can help explain more about these processes and may be a useful resource.