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What is collaborative law?

Many times we see divorce represented in movies and the media in the worst of ways. Full out battles in court and disputes that drag on for years are the common representation we are used to. But that doesn’t have to be the way your divorce goes. In fact, there are several options for you in terms of how you guys want to come to an agreement.

If you want to keep your proceedings out of court, you may want to consider collaborative law. In general, this is an alternative way to resolve the issues that come up during a divorce. There are two basic types of collaborative law: mediation and negotiation.

Negotiation, on a very basic level, means the two parties, often with the help of their attorneys, will discuss the issues that matter, such as alimony, property division and child custody, and come to an agreement that works well for everyone.

The other option is known as mediation. It’s very similar but it also includes a neutral third party that helps the two sides work toward a solution.

Basically, the two sides try to work toward a final agreement that will eventually be written up by one of the parties or by the mediator. That agreement will then be brought to the judge for approval. These options can be a lot less expensive for people and a lot less stressful. Of course, while this is a great option for some, it may not work for others. For example, if a case involves domestic violence, having to discuss these topics informally face to face may not be the best option.

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