Divorce has the potential for being a contentious, complicated personal and legal matter. Many Maryland divorce cases end up being highly emotionally charged. There are alternatives to combative divorce proceedings. These include collaborative divorce and mediation. There are a number of factors to bear in mind when it comes to mediation and collaborative law.
In basic terms, a collaborative divorce can best be described as a situation in which a divorcing couple desires to settle a marriage dissolution case without the need for a divorce trial and similar proceedings. A court ultimately approves any divorce settlement and then issues a divorce decree.
A collaborative divorce necessitates the ability of the parties to openly and honestly communicate with one another. Collaborative divorce does not mean spouses forgo legal representation. Oftentimes, the parties do have divorce attorneys who advise them on legal matters and associated issues Legal counsel will also draft documents needed as part of a divorce settlement process.
Mediation is another alternative dispute resolution method. Through mediation, a divorcing couple works with a neutral third party who has training and experience in assisting divorcing couples in resolving issues in their cases. A divorce mediator may have a law degree, but that is not necessarily required.
A mediator assists a couple involved in a marriage dissolution case to reach decisions regarding issues in the case. These issues can include everything from property division to child custody to any other matters that need to be addressed in a particular case. A mediator does not make decision for a couple. Rather, a mediator facilitates discussion, negotiation and decision making between divorcing spouses.