What is the Difference between Collaboration and Mediation?

Collaboration and mediation are two ways to get divorced. Couples should know the differences so they can make the choice that is right for them.

Collaboration and mediation are methods for divorce that are becoming more popular today. Both of these approaches focus on bringing the couple to an amicable and respectful agreement without the need for litigation. While the two are very similar, they do have their differences. It is important that divorcing couples understand what these differences are so they can choose the method of dispute resolution that is right for them.

The Mediator

Perhaps the biggest difference between collaboration and mediation is that in the latter, there is a mediator present. A mediator works to bring the couple into an agreement on the terms of the divorce. They will consider the best interests of both parties, consider what is fair, and make recommendations. However, they do not make any final decisions about the divorce. They are simply there to ensure the proceedings are civil, and to help the couple come to a decision on the terms of the divorce. A mediator may or may not be an attorney, but they do not provide legal advice. There is no mediator present during collaboration.

The Attorneys

While divorcing couples going through mediation can consult with their attorney between sessions, lawyers are typically not present during the actual mediation. Usually, these sessions consist only of the two spouses wishing to divorce and the mediator. On the other hand, in collaboration, attorneys are present. The attorneys for each side will argue their case, try to get terms favorable for their clients, and provide legal advice throughout the proceedings.

The Withdrawal of Attorneys

In mediation, each spouse is allowed to have an attorney and consult with him or her when needed. This is also allowed in collaboration. One of the biggest differences between these two types of dispute resolution, though, is what happens when no agreement can be reached. Couples going through mediation may wish to move to collaboration or litigation. When they do so, they can continue with the same attorney with whom they have been working. If an agreement cannot be reached in collaboration, however, the attorneys representing the spouses must withdraw from the case. The spouses must then start over and retain new counsel.

The Experts

Again, mediation typically only consists of the mediator and the two spouses. Collaboration involves not only the two spouses and their attorneys, but also experts. These experts can advise on topics such as child development, mental health, physical health, and more. These experts are intended to shed light on issues such as child development, and whether one parent has the mental or physical capacity to provide a child with his or her daily needs. The experts used in collaboration will depend on the issues of the case.

Need Help with Your Divorce? Contact Our Texas Divorce Attorney

Regardless of the type of divorce you choose to proceed with, you need the help of our Pearland divorce attorney. At John Powell III, PC, we are dedicated to helping divorces proceed quickly and smoothly for the sake of our clients. We know how difficult divorce is, and we just want to make it easier. Call us today at (832) 850-6095 or contact us one to schedule a meeting with an attorney.