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When considering your divorce options, whether it be mediated, collaborative, or litigated divorce, you may be overwhelmed by their volume of differences and what they mean for you. Read on to explore which option best fits your circumstances and how a seasoned Bergen County divorce attorney can help you navigate them.

What are the benefits of mediated and collaborative divorce?

Mediation is often considered the most peaceful method of divorce, as it has the couple work with a neutral third party, i.e. a mediator, to create a Separation Agreement.

Below are some of the benefits of choosing this route:

  • It is a relatively short process, as the couple is not at the mercy of the court.
  • It is a relatively inexpensive process, as the couple is not at the mercy of attorneys.
  • Each spouse has control over making their own decisions, rather than a judge.
  • The information discussed during the process is kept confidential, as opposed to litigation being on public record in New Jersey.
  • It is voluntary and can stop at any time.

However, if the couple disagrees on significant issues, such as child custody, property division, and alimony, they will likely require a more formal process and the assistance of attorneys to be productive. This would be considered a collaborative divorce, in which the couple and their respective attorneys will work together to come to a decision about the outstanding matters of their settlement.

When should I opt for a litigated divorce?

When a collaborative divorce is unsuccessful, it will go to litigation. Since the beginning of a collaborative divorce starts with the spouses and their respective attorneys signing an agreement to keep the matters confidential, the spouses are required to start all over again and also retain new attorneys once the New Jersey public record becomes involved.

The most common process, a litigated divorce begins when one party files a complaint with the court, after which the court system sets a schedule for the proceedings. Then, a judge makes decisions on the couple’s behalf based on the information gathered in the discovery process of the trial.

If you are still unsure which process is best for you, do not hesitate in reaching out to a knowledgeable Bergen County family law attorney.


Here at McNerney & McAuliffe, we understand how confusing certain legal matters can be, which is why we are here to provide clients from all walks of life with the experienced, compassionate legal guidance they need. If you require the legal assistance of an attorney to help you through a criminal law matter, personal injury matter, family law matter, or otherwise, you can turn to us. Contact McNerney & McAuliffe today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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