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Minimizing conflict in divorce is an important goal that can help avoid costly, drawn-out litigation. One effective way to accomplish this objective is to utilize one of the alternative dispute resolution processes, typically either mediation or collaborative law.
Mediation is an informal and confidential settlement process directed by specially trained third party, called a mediator. The mediation process provides the parties the opportunity to negotiate settlement terms in a controlled environment.
While the parties are not obligated to reach an agreement during the mediation process, agreements reached through mediation have a high likelihood of being approved by the court. Although there is no requirement to reach an agreement, the mediator’s goal is to facilitate an agreement which will likely be approved by the court. Most family law courts mandate that parties go through mediation before proceeding to trial. Statistics have shown that mediation can save time and money since more than 95 percent of cases settle in mediation instead of going to trial. The attorneys at Travers & Travers are skilled and experienced in preparing and guiding clients through the mediation process.
In collaborative law, each party retains his or her own lawyer and signs an agreement stating that the parties will work cooperatively to resolve all issues and reach a negotiated agreement without court intervention. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, each attorney must withdraw, and the parties will go to trial with new attorneys. In other words, the parties are truly motivated to settle because otherwise they will have to retain and educate new counsel.
The collaborative divorce process is more than one mediation session. It is designed to allow the parties and their attorneys to involve other professionals, such as financial experts and family counselors, with specialized training who can assist in finding an agreement on important issues. Proponents of the collaborative law process believe that it helps maintain family relationships by resolving disputes by focusing on moving forward and putting blame aside. The attorneys at Travers & Travers can advise you in the collaborative law process.