Mediation involves the participants sitting down with a mediator that is neutral and is there to help the participants communicate more effectively in hopes of coming to a mutual understanding. During these meetings, lawyers representing the parties are usually not present. The mediator is also not able to decide anything for the participants, they must ultimately decide themselves whether or not they will come to an agreement. In addition, the person mediating the dispute cannot give out legal counsel to either party or advise either party if the proposal is best for them. By contrast, a collaborative divorce involves several meetings between the participants and their lawyers, whom have the ability to give out advice and be advocates on behalf of their client. There are times when mediation is called for as a part of the overall collaborative divorce process. One example of such an occurrence is when the spouses are unable to come to an agreement on a certain issue.
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
The short answer is no. While there may be some crossover between the two processes, and some of the professionals that work in collaborative divorces have some training with mediation, there are fundamental differences between the dynamics of the two. In mediation, there is a neutral mediator that is not a representative of either of the parties in the dispute, and will not normally advise the parties legally (although they may encourage them to get legal help independently). A collaborative divorce, on the other hand, will involve the spouses meeting a number of times with a group that may include their lawyers and other professionals that are considered members of the ‘team.’ The objective being to reach a written agreement covering all areas of dispute that will be both deemed in the best interest of all parties involved and accepted by everyone.