Collaborative Divorce vs. Mediation in Family Law

The family law attorneys at Rodier Family Law explain the differences between collaborative divorce and mediation.

Coming to the conclusion that it’s time for you and your spouse to divorce is oftentimes a difficult task due to a fear of enduring a long and stressful process. There could be decades of history with children that need to be accounted for or there could only be a few years between two partners. No matter the circumstances, legal concerns need to be addressed, but the good news is that there are alternative methods to pursue besides a traditional divorce.

Mediation and collaborative divorce are becoming increasingly popular in the family law industry because of their peaceful and less time consuming approach. However, as their popularity increases, more people seeking a divorce are becoming concerned about which method is better suited for their unique situation. Described below are the major differences of each to help alleviate some confusion.

Collaborative divorce is a mix between a lawyer-driven divorce and mediation that allows the two parties seeking a divorce to have the support and guidance from family law attorneys without the need for a trial. With this approach, each spouse would have his or her own attorney who is trained in collaborative practice to guide them along every aspect of the case.

In the collaborative process, the spouses and their attorneys (and additional professionals depending on the situation) will engage in a series of meetings to negotiate terms and settle on an agreement pertaining to factors such as the division of assets, family finances, child custody etc. If a minor child is involved, a child specialist should be retained to prioritize the needs and interests of the child and provide strategies for creating an effective co-parenting arrangement.

On the other hand, mediation is similar in that it can address the requirements associated with divorce in a more informal, relaxed setting, except there is one mediator who acts as a neutral third party between the two parties instead of one lawyer for each. In addition, rather than having an “us versus them” mentality, mediation can promote a more cooperative divorce as everyone is working together to achieve favorable outcomes.

The attorneys at Rodier Family Law have taken the necessary steps to enhance their knowledge of collaborative practice and additional peaceful divorce processes. While we continue to represent individuals throughout the traditional divorce process, we also aim to serve individuals and couples who wish to pursue a more peaceful approach to divorce.

For more information about collaborative divorce and mediation or how their processes can impact your unique circumstances, contact the family law attorneys at Rodier Family Law.


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide about the subject matter. A licensed Maryland attorney should be sought about your specific circumstances.