Collaborative law, also known as divorce mediation, is a conflict resolution process used to settle financial and/or child care and custody issues between divorcing or separating couples.
Couples who are going to separate or divorce will work with their lawyers, and maybe some family professionals that they want to bring in as well, to achieve a mutually agreed upon settlement.
By going through this mediation process, couples avoid a court decision and thus any uncertainty or contested litigation. For this reason, collaborative law is a really positive alternative for divorcing couples.
Couples may bring in a mediator to help them collaborate and reach their agreement; however, any agreement that the mediator helps them reach needs to be evaluated and approved by the couples’ lawyers.
A divorce mediation always starts with a participation agreement, which is an agreement by a divorcing or separating couple required to initiate divorce mediation.
By signing this agreement, the couple binds itself to this process. The agreement also prevents the couple’s lawyers from providing future representation in any kind of family case.
Using this method allows couples to avoid both the contentiousness of court and the uncertainty of a court decision.