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Understanding collaborative divorce and mediation

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2023 | Divorce |

People often think of an Alabama divorce as a contentious and difficult process. It is certainly true that many people end up fighting with their spouses about property division and custody matters. Frequently, Alabama divorces culminate in litigation. Contested divorces can take months to finalize and can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Many couples in Alabama would prefer to avoid the stress and expense involved in litigated divorce. Those with children, for example, may want to minimize how much they share in public about the divorce and how much damage they cause their relationship. There are multiple means of achieving those goals. Currently, divorce mediation and other forms of collaborative divorce are the most common alternatives to litigation.

Collaborative divorce starts with an agreement

Divorce mediation involves working with a neutral professional with specialized training to resolve marital disputes. Spouses can work through disagreements in a confidential setting to achieve a workable compromise. When successful, divorce mediation in Alabama ends with a signed agreement between the spouses clarifying the specific terms of their divorce.

Other forms of collaborative divorce may or may not start with a written agreement. Regardless of the approach, spouses generally enter a cooperative process after agreeing to approach it cooperatively and to work together to resolve all of their outstanding disputes.  Collaborative divorce can involve mediation when spouses struggle to set terms that they can both agree are appropriate.

The main objective is successfully negotiating a settlement. Ideally, the final terms seem positive to both spouses. Sometimes, the process may include outside professionals who guide specific decisions, like financial and child specialists. In a collaborative divorce, spouses can negotiate directly with one another, or they can have their attorneys negotiate.

Mediation requires sitting down with an outside professional, although the spouses do not necessarily need to be together in the same room. Therefore, mediation can be a viable solution even in high-conflict divorce cases, whereas other forms of collaborative divorce often require a healthier dynamic at the beginning of the process.

When successful, non-litigated processes limit the conflict and expense typically inspired by an Alabama divorce. Ultimately, exploring alternatives to litigated divorce may help people feel more empowered when approaching the end of their marriages.