Is Collaborative Divorce the same as Mediation?

Collaborative Divorce and Mediation are two popular alternatives that share common goals of reducing conflict and fostering cooperation. However, the distinctions between Collaborative Divorce and Mediation are significant. Let’s highlight the strengths that make Collaborative Divorce a unique and empowering choice.


Understanding Collaborative Divorce:


Collaborative Divorce is a process where couples work with specially trained attorneys and a team of professionals to reach agreements on various aspects of their divorce. It emphasizes open communication, voluntary participation, and a commitment to finding solutions outside the courtroom. The collaborative team typically includes neutral financial experts, mental health professionals, and child specialists resources to address different dimensions of the divorce.


Distinguishing Collaborative Divorce from Mediation:


  • Legal Representation:

    • In Collaborative Divorce, each spouse has an attorney specially trained in collaborative law. These attorneys advocate for their clients’ interests while fostering a cooperative environment.
    • In Mediation, a neutral mediator assists the couple in reaching agreements. The mediator doesn’t represent either party and cannot provide legal advice.


  • Team Approach:

    • Collaborative Divorce involves a team of professionals, bringing in expert resources such as financial planners and mental health professionals to address various aspects of the divorce.
    • Mediation typically involves only the mediator and the divorcing couple. Additional professionals may be consulted outside the mediation process.


  • Voluntary Commitment:

    • Collaborative Divorce requires a voluntary commitment from spouses and their attorneys to work collaboratively. If either party decides to pursue litigation, the collaborative team must withdraw.
    • Mediation is generally voluntary, but either party can withdraw at any time without the same automatic withdrawal of professionals.


Strengths of Collaborative Divorce:


  • Emphasis on Communication and Cooperation:

    • Collaborative Divorce strongly emphasizes open communication, fostering a cooperative environment that can lead to more creative and satisfying solutions.


  • Legal Advocacy with Cooperation:

    • While Collaborative Divorce involves legal representation for each party, the focus is on cooperative problem-solving rather than adversarial strategies.


  • Comprehensive Professional Support:

    • The collaborative team includes various professionals, ensuring that the divorce’s financial, emotional, and parenting aspects are addressed comprehensively.


  • Tailored and Flexible Solutions:

    • Collaborative Divorce allows couples to create personalized solutions that meet their unique needs and circumstances, fostering a sense of empowerment and control over the outcome.


  • Preservation of Relationships:

    • By minimizing conflict and promoting cooperation, Collaborative Divorce supports preserving relationships, which is particularly important when children are involved.


The strengths of collaboration lie in its commitment to communication, legal advocacy with cooperation, and the inclusion of a diverse team of professionals. As couples increasingly seek alternatives that prioritize mutual respect and creative problem-solving, Collaborative Divorce emerges as a transformative and empowering choice in the realm of divorce resolution. If you reside within the Kansas City Metro area and are still trying to figure out what a collaborative divorce is and how it differs from mediation, contact Collaborative Practice Kansas City at 913-380-2560 to speak with one of our trained professional

Collaborative Divorce Collaborative Practice KC Same as Mediation