Mediation, Collaboration, or Litigation?

Choosing a Process for Your Divorce

At the outset of your divorce, you will pick a process in which to work through your conflict.  We understand that this can be a bit overwhelming, and are here to assist you in making the best choice for you and your family.

Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary process in which a neutral third-party, the mediator, facilitates a conversation between you and your spouse. The goal of that mediated conversation is to help you arrive at a divorce settlement that works for both parties. The mediator is not a judge and will not impose a resolution on either of you. What the mediator will do is use her expertise in conflict resolution to help you have conversations in a more effective way than you have in the past. She will also use her experience in divorce settlements and divorce law to give you legal information and help you brainstorm an appropriate resolution to your conflict.  In our role as mediator, we are able to give legal information but not legal advice.  We encourage both parties to engage  independent counsel to consult with before finalizing your agreement.  Mediation is used not just in divorce, but in other family conflicts like custody cases.  You can read more about mediation here.

Collaborative Law

Collaboration offers a middle ground between mediation and full adversarial litigation.  Collaborative practice, like meditation, is a voluntary process. The major difference between mediation and collaborative divorce is that in a collaborative case you are never “on your own.” Each party is fully represented throughout the negotiation by his or her own collaborative attorney.  Unlike in a litigated divorce, the parties and their individual attorneys sign an agreement commit themselves to resolving all issues of the divorce by negotiated agreement without resorting, or threatening to resort to costly court proceedings. In addition to attorneys, a collaborative case often includes professionals from other disciplines on the team.  Divorce coaches and financial experts are common collaborative team members.

Litigated Divorce

A litigated divorce is the one in which the parties and their attorneys submit their case to a court and follow the court’s prescribed, formal steps to prepare for a trial. While the parties (usually through their attorneys) prepare their case against each other, they also attempt (usually through their attorneys) to conduct settlement negotiations. Where the parties are unable to settle their case, a neutral third party, the judge, will impose a decision, which may not work for both of them. Litigation is not a voluntary process, ultimately. Its structure, length and ultimate result are determined by the court.

Step-by-Step Guidance

Decisions that you make during a divorce will affect you and your family for years to come. Freed Marcroft’s attorneys can guide you step by step through the issues that must be addressed in divorce-including property division, child custody, visitation, child support and spousal support.  We can carefully and compassionately explain the divorce process in Connecticut and help you select the approach that best meets your needs.

You can read additional articles and blog posts on choosing a divorce process below:

The attorneys at Freed Marcroft guide select clients through the legal aspects of divorce while remaining mindful of their overall wellness. To discuss our helping with your situation, contact us either here or by phone at 860-560-8160.