Do you know that only about 5% of divorce proceedings are dealt with in court? The other divorce cases use alternative ways to settle the case, such as mediation and collaborative divorce. These two processes are often misunderstood to mean the same thing as they both have a common goal. However, they have meaningful contrasts between them, and the processes are too different. Here’s what they mean, how they work, and their differences. 


It is a procedure that involves you engaging with a mediator to find resolutions to available drawbacks in the divorce process. Mediators are Adelaide family lawyers with experience in family law mediation. They assist in coming up with an agreement that both you and your partner are comfortable with. The meditator does not represent anyone, only guides you through the divorce proceedings. They address the legal and financial issues that come with divorce. Mediation sessions are done in the mediator’s office or on any online platform. The lawyer makes an agreement document after the couple reaches a decision. Afterwards, you will need to recruit a reviewing attorney who further studies the agreement and requests changes if there is a mistake. They then send the final draft to the court. 

Collaborative divorce

People usually choose this process because it is a shorter process, there is the insurance of cooperation, and there are no conflicts. The process requires you to hire the Adelaide family lawyerswho are well-versed with collaborative law; your partner should do the same. Both of you will be required to meet these attorneys and come up with solutions to your problems. These attorneys will ensure to inform you of the implications of your decision to the family.

Certain circumstances may force you to hire additional professionals such as a therapist, financial specialist and a professional in family relations. Both individuals should agree on the division of property, alimony, child custody, and child support. Failure to agree, both attorneys and the spouses are to withdraw from this process. You will need to start over with the divorce process.

The differences

  1. Mediation will require a mediator who is an expert in family law mediation, while collaborative divorce requires an attorney familiar with collaborative law. They both focus on different objectives.
  2. Mediation does not necessarily need the involvement of an attorney, but collaborative divorce requires an attorney to guide you throughout the procedure.
  3. In mediation, you all focus more on the result of divorce, while in collaborative divorce, you all focus on coming up with solutions.
  4. Mediation requires the lawyer to lead the case and most of the discussion, while in collaborative divorce, you and your spouse lead the process.
  5. Conduction of mediation is possible when a case has started, but collaborative divorce cannot occur after you begin the case.
  6. Collaborative divorce requires that both attorneys have gone through special training. In mediation, that is unnecessary.
  7. Mediation requires a lot of preparation and research beforehand. In collaborative divorce, you can prepare while the process is ongoing.
  8. Mediation explores disagreements and facts, while collaborative divorce focuses more on the necessities and concerns.
  9. Collaborative divorce is more expensive than meditation.
  10. The collaborative is a longer process compared to meditation.

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Which one should you choose?

  1. If your divorce process seems like a raging war due to resentments, collaborative divorce is the best in this situation. It is because there usually is a therapist present to calm down a heated situation.
  2. If you and your partner are still on friendly terms with each other, mediation is the best for your divorce proceedings.
  3. If both of you are not well aware of each other’s financial situation, collaborative divorce is more appropriate. If you choose mediation, the one who does not have information about the partner’s finances will be at a disadvantage.
  4. Be sure of how much you are willing to pay. Collaborative divorce is the more expensive process. If you do not have enough money, negotiation is the alternative for you.
  5. Understanding your financial situation and realizing how the division should be, makes meditation the better choice for you. 

Taking your divorce case to trial means the decision is up to the judge. However, meditation and collaborative divorce work accordingly to both your and your partner’s interests. When both of you disagree with your spouse, the court is appropriate to proceed case.