The Law Firm of Debra J. Braselton, P.C.
Illinois Matrimonial and Family Law 630-DIVORCE

Difference between mediation and collaborative divorce

There are many way that people in Illinois resolve disputes. Some will yell at other people, some will want to argue or fight about it and other will want to sit down and discuss the matter to reach a resolution. This is true for minor disagreements and life-changing disputes such as a divorce. Some people will want to fight throughout the divorce through litigation and ultimately have a judge make decisions. Others will want to try and work out the issues between themselves and avoid litigation.

People who want to try and resolve the issues themselves have a couple different options on how to proceed. One is to go to mediation and see if a mediator can help the couple work through any disagreements. Another is through a collaborative divorce, which is a process where the couple and their attorneys work towards a resolution together. Both of these processes do not involve litigation and require both parties to be willing to work together to reach a resolution, but there are differences between them as well.

One of the biggest differences is that in a collaborative divorce both sides are represented by attorneys, but in mediation the parties may not have attorneys and just work with the mediator. This means that both parties will be able to receive legal advice throughout the process even though the attorneys will not be acting in an adversarial manner. Mediators cannot give the parties any legal advice. Also, attorneys in a collaborative divorce can draft the documents necessary to finalize the divorce while mediators are not supposed to do that.

Every divorce in Illinois is unique in both the final outcome and how the parties reach their outcome. Some will litigate all of the issues and the outcome will be determined by a judge. Others will reach agreements, but even couples who reach agreements have options on how they reach that agreement. One method is utilizing the collaborative divorce process. Experienced collaborative divorce attorneys understand this process and may be able to guide one through the process.

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