Options for staying out of court, reducing stress, minimizing costs, and divorcing with respect.
Because divorce is a problem to be solved, not a battle to be won.
Divorce mediation is a voluntary, private, informal, confidential, and cost-effective process for parting couples that are willing to work together to create a mutually acceptable legal settlement without going to court.
The mediator’s role is to work as a neutral third party while facilitating communication and understanding in a safe and structured environment. The mediator guides the parties through the legal process, outlining the relevant legal issues and helping them make decisions based on their respective needs and interests. Because the mediator is unable to offer legal advice, each party is strongly advised to obtain independent legal advice from a “mediation friendly” consulting attorney.
Co-mediation or Integrative Mediation involves the use of two mediators, and can be a cost-effective approach when additional support is needed. Adding a neutral therapist-mediator is especially helpful when there are significant communication, substance abuse, domestic violence or mental health issues. A neutral financial advisor-mediator can be especially helpful in generating and evaluating potential financial agreements.
Collaborative Practice Divorce
Collaborative Divorce is a process for those that want their own attorney, yet are committed to staying out of court and working with their spouse in a respectful manner. Each party and Collaborative attorney pledge in writing to stay out of court, participate in good faith, and work as a team to achieve the best possible outcome for all involved. If either party decides to end the process, neither attorney can represent their client in court.
Additional professionals, who have been collaboratively trained, include mental health professionals who assist with the emotional, communication, and parenting challenges in the divorce. Trained and certified financial advisors are available to gather and analyze financial data and assist the parties in allocating income, assets, debt and property, as well as evaluate different options based on the resources available. These professionals commit to working as a team, with the goal of assisting the parties in a mutually acceptable, out-of-court settlement.
Collaborative Divorce is especially helpful for parents or those who will continue a relationship after their divorce (co-workers or members of the same organizations).
For individuals who want an independent attorney to negotiate on their behalf with their spouse or his/her attorney in a non-adversarial fashion, with the goal of reaching an out-of-court settlement that is mutually acceptable to both parties. Assistance is only available if the case remains out of court.
Independent Legal Advice
For an individual party who is working with their spouse/partner in mediation and seeks independent legal advice from a “mediation-friendly” lawyer. Care is taken to maintain the integrity of the mediation process while helping the client to make informed decisions based on his/her personal goals and interests.
Assistance is available for individuals (or both parties who are in agreement on all aspects of their divorce) who want an attorney to prepare their divorce paperwork and guide them through the legal process.