Unless you have already experienced a divorce in the state of New York, divorce mediation and collaborative divorce are likely foreign terms to you. They are two ways of ending a marriage without having to take the matter into a courtroom. While these two methods are similar in some ways, they are not the same thing. If you are planning to get divorced, it is wise to learn the differences between the two before you commit to either method.

Collaborative divorce

This method of divorcing involves you, your spouse and your respective divorce attorneys. The goal of a collaborative divorce is to help you and your spouse resolve any disagreements or conflicts out of court. Examples include child and/or spousal support, property division and child custody. As a group, you will meet to discuss the issues you have and find mutually agreeable solutions. Each of you will have regular consultations with your attorneys as well.

Divorce mediation

Getting a divorce through mediation also means finding ways to resolve any differences you have outside of court. Instead of hiring individual attorneys, a trained and impartial third party will guide you through the process. In many cases, divorcing couples choose an attorney who has extensive training in the mediation process to act as the mediator. Mediation allows you and your spouse to create a divorce agreement that is fair and balanced.

Before you make any decisions about how you want to handle your divorce, it is a good idea to get a qualified legal opinion. This can give you insight into which method of divorce will meet your needs in the present and the future.