Divorce has historically been seen as adversarial — a win or lose situation — and in many cases litigation is necessary. However, non-adversarial methods of resolving disputes have become increasingly effective and efficient in producing results that both parties can agree upon.
Mediation and collaborative divorce are two forms of alternative dispute resolution that allow the parties to negotiate their own settlement on their own terms, rather than leaving decisions up to a court. Here let’s discuss the benefits of dissolving a marriage through mediation or collaborative law.
In mediation, the parties voluntarily enter into a negotiation process that is not legally binding but which is facilitated by an impartial person — the mediator. The spouses and the mediator meet in a private, protected setting to identify and discuss the spouses’ needs and clarify any differences. Again, this is a non-adversarial process that can address any number of divorce issues, including child custody, child support, spousal support and property division.
Many divorcing spouses or partners who choose mediation find the process to be more agreeable, effective and cost-efficient than going to court. If children are involved, then mediation also helps to protect the kids from the adversarial nature of litigation.
Collaborative divorce is also non-adversarial, but with this method, each party has an attorney throughout the process. The parties and the attorneys sign an agreement stating that, in the event that a settlement can’t be reached through collaboration, the attorneys will withdraw and assist the parties in transitioning to other legal representation. It should be noted that the signed agreement often serves as a motivator to resolve matters out of court.
The lawyers at Gavin & Dersche Law and Mediation help clients throughout Southern California reach divorce settlements through alternative dispute resolution and through litigation. To learn more about our areas of practice, please visit our Family Law overview.