Attorneys Who Put Family First

Talmud Law The Law Offices of Rebecca J. Talmud

Alternatives to contested divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Divorce

Mediation and collaborative law are both ways couples in the greater Buffalo area can resolve their divorce without having to go through a lengthy court process.

To review, in a divorce mediation, the couple works with a third party (called a mediator) over one or several sessions. A mediator must go through training and will have knowledge of divorce and family law.

Like a judge, the mediator will not have any ties to either side as they listen to the couple and go over options with them. However, the mediator does not make decisions about the case. They try to help the couple resolve any outstanding issues themselves.

Mediation is confidential and voluntary.

If either side after trying in good faith to reach an agreement decides to cut off the process, the couple simply moves toward a contested divorce. They may keep the same attorneys if mediation does not work out.

In collaborative law, the couple and their attorneys themselves agree to share information freely and to work together to reach an agreement that is best both for them and for their children.

The couple and their attorneys may agree to rely on certain experts to help the couple resolve their divorce-related issues.

One potential disadvantage to collaborative law is that, if the couple cannot agree and decides to move forward with a contested divorce, then they will have to choose new attorneys.

Why would I consider divorce mediation or collaborative law?

There are many advantages to using methods other than traditional court litigation to resolve family law disputes:

  • Typically, an alternative process costs less than a contested trial.
  • Many find the process less stressful and time-consuming.
  • The process has a greater degree of privacy. Usually, contested divorce hearings are open to the public, as are the case files.
  • The process gives the parties more control over the result. Once a case goes to a judge for a decision, there is always a chance that the decision will be unfavorable to one side or the other.
  • An alternative process can make any of the couple’s children cope with their parent’s split and transition to their lives post-divorce easier. The process can also set up a precedent that the parents will work together on issues involving their children.

With these advantages in mind, Erie County residents may wish to consider mediation or collaborative law as one of their options.