When you and your spouse decide that it’s best you divorce, you have options. Maryland gives you an alternative means to end your marriage: mediation and collaborative divorce. Knowing how these methods compare can help you decide which is better for you.
Understanding divorce mediation
Divorce mediation occurs when you and your spouse meet with a neutral third party known as a mediator to negotiate all the terms of your divorce. If you and your spouse are willing to work together to reach a settlement for the end of your marriage, mediation is a good option. It’s cheaper and allows you to get divorced faster. You have better flexibility and control over the outcome while avoiding court.
Mediation is also private, which means that your divorce doesn’t go on public record. When you reach an agreement on your divorce, the mediator creates an agreement that you and your spouse will both sign.
Collaborative divorce explained
Collaborative divorce gives you and your spouse better control over the process of ending your marriage. You are each joined by your respective attorneys and have meetings to discuss all the matters of concern so that you can come up with a solution. Often, other professionals assist in anything you have trouble agreeing on. For example, if you and your spouse have a dispute about child custody, a child custody specialist might be brought in to help.
If you are ultimately unable to reach an agreement on everything within the divorce, your attorneys withdraw from the case, and you and your spouse go to court where a judge hears your case. However, if you’re able to settle things with a collaborative divorce, you can save time and money.
Details of your divorce are not kept private like divorce mediation, which could make some uncomfortable. When deciding whether mediation or collaborative divorce is right for you, take your time and consider the features of each option.