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Mediation or Collaborative Law?

Posted on in Divorce

Texas divorce laws, Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas complex divorce lawyer,Many litigants and practitioners consider these forms of alternative dispute resolution to be similar. There are some commonalities, not the least of which is that they are both negotiation-based, as opposed to litigation-based, methods for dispute resolution. But comparing this alternative to complex property litigation with mediation is a little like comparing this article to William Shakespeare's literary epic Hamlet: while there are some similarities, the comparison is by no means apples to apples.

Functional Differences

Collaborative law is a comprehensive litigation alternative that includes a discovery component. During this process, the parties freely exchange relevant documents, and any disputes are worked out between the parties. In a similar vein, the spouses themselves are typically responsible for gathering financial and other documents, so they feel invested in the process. If there is need for an expert, such as an accountant, the parties divide the cost.

On the other hand, mediation cannot take place until discovery is complete. Otherwise, the parties would make a final settlement in the case based on incomplete information, which is risky, at best.

On a related note, during mediation, the parties spend almost no time together. Instead, they wait while a mediator conveys offers and counter-offers back and forth. Collaborative law is different, because the parties are nearly always in the same room. Since the parties work together in the divorce, they are more likely to work together as co-parents.

Philosophical Distinctions

One difference was mentioned above: collaborative law is a litigation alternative. If the process breaks down, for whatever reason, the parties must start anew with different counsel. This dynamic encourages the parties to work together to overcome the inevitable differences, because starting over would mean an enormous additional investment of time and treasure, not to mention an enormous waste of the previous investment.

The focus is also different. Mediation is results-oriented: the attorneys rely on their skills to obtain the best possible outcome for their clients. Collaborative law is process-oriented: the attorneys listen and work together. These skills are essential in the years to come, if the parties are to successfully co-parent and not rely on the decisions of outsiders to resolve family disputes.

For prompt assistance in this area, contact an aggressive Cedar Park complex divorce attorney. Call the Law Offices of William D. Powers at 512.610.6199 today.

Source:

http://www.uniformlaws.org/shared/docs/collaborative_law/uclranducla_finalact_jul10.pdf

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