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There may be no hard feelings between you and your spouse in the wake of deciding to part ways. In this case, having to face them in the courtroom for litigated divorce proceedings may seem harsh, not to mention unnecessary. Rest assured, New Jersey family law allows for certain divorce proceedings to take place outside the courtroom; namely in the form of mediation or collaborative divorces. Continue reading to learn what makes mediation different from collaborative divorce and how an experienced Bergen County divorce attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can help you choose between the two wisely.

In what ways is mediation different from a collaborative divorce?

On the one hand, mediation is a type of alternative divorce method in which you and your spouse may work together to negotiate a Separation Agreement. This agreement must settle all your divorce-related terms, such as your alimony, property vision, child support, and child custody. The negotiation sessions for this agreement may be conducted by a neutral third party, which may or may not be an attorney. Also, these sessions may be scheduled at any time, along with stopping and resuming at your and your spouse’s convenience.

A collaborative divorce is similarly an alternative divorce method. But on the other hand, it requires you and your spouse to each retain an attorney. Then, your respective attorneys may take the lead in finalizing the Separation Agreement; especially in negotiating the divorce-related terms that you and your spouse have not necessarily seen eye-to-eye on. Of note, these proceedings may also involve consultations with other types of professionals, such as mental health professionals and financial experts.

How do I know which divorce option is best for my situation?

There is no one divorce method that is better than the other. In other words, you must tune out the noise and choose a divorce type based on the unique circumstances surrounding your and your spouse’s status. That said, mediation or collaborative divorce may be best if the following circumstances apply:

  • Mediation may be best if:
    • You and your spouse wish to maintain full control over how your divorce case is finalized.
    • You and your spouse want to show your shared children that you are still a team that can work together.
    • You and your spouse can respect one another enough to negotiate directly.
    • You and your spouse can compromise and let the small things go.
  • A collaborative divorce may be best if:
    • You and your spouse crave structure in your divorce proceedings without being at the mercy of the court.
    • You and your spouse crave reassurance from attorneys and other professionals throughout your divorce proceedings.
    • You and your spouse may have an uneven power dynamic that makes you want backup from a legal representative.
    • You and your spouse may share complex assets you are uncomfortable negotiating without legal advisement.

To allow the best decisions to be made, it is in your best interest to retain the legal assistance of a skilled Bergen County family law attorney. Contact McNerney & McAuliffe today.

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