How is Collaborative Divorce Different from Mediation?
Many people ask how collaborative divorce is different from using mediation in reaching a divorce agreement. Family law attorney Marcy Jones is trained and experienced in both mediation and collaborative divorce law.
In mediation, there is one neutral professional who meets with the parties to help reach resolution. The mediator may not give either party legal advice and cannot help either side advocate their position. This can be difficult when there is an imbalance of power between the parties. If one side or the other becomes stubborn, unreasonable, or emotionally upset, the process can become unbalanced. If the mediator tries to assist one party or the other when this happens, he or she may be seen as aligning with that party, whether it’s true or not. This can result in either a breakdown in the process or an unbalanced and unfair agreement.
Collaborative divorce law was devised to address these problems. Like mediation, settlement is still the only agenda of the process; however, with collaboration, each party has a legal advocate and advisor at all times during the process. This levels the playing field and can improve the opportunity for a balanced and acceptable settlement to both parties.
Marcy Jones was one of the first Lynchburg and Virginia lawyers to be trained in collaborative divorce law. She is also an experienced mediator. She’s a member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals, the Virginia Association of Collaborative Professionals, and Collaborative Professionals of Central Virginia.
Want more information about collaborative divorce or mediation? Call Marcy Jones at 434-845-2463.