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Collaborative Law vs Mediation Law

What is the difference between Collaborative Family Law and Mediation?

Mediation involves a mediator, who is a neutral third party, who helps both sides communicate, discover common ground and find solutions to their problems. Collaborative law is a form of negotiation in which the two parties and their lawyers meet in person or separately to negotiate a solution to their problems. 

One difference is that in some mediations the parties are not usually represented by lawyers. In CL, parties must be represented by counsel. Another difference is that CL has an efficient discovery process built into its structure. Mediation does not typically have an information exchange step as part of its process. This shortcoming often relegates mediation to being used toward the end of the litigation process or when parties have already reached a decision on how to separate and just need some guidance on making it formal and fair.  Mediation is also used to negotiate parts of a separation agreement when the parties cannot reach an agreement on their own on specific issues, but have resolved other issues. It is also used for this last purpose to shorten litigation by negotiating issues that the parties are close to resolving.

How are Collaborative Family Law and Mediation similar?

  • Both are non-adversarial processes,

  • Both are forms of interest-based negotiation,

  • Both are voluntary and cannot be concluded unless the parties agree to a resolution and reduce it to a written agreement,

  • Both are significantly less expensive than the court process and take significantly less time.


Book a Consultation

If you answered yes to any of these questions, mediation law could be the right decision for you and your spouse. Book an appointment so that we can review the options open to you to work through your family law file.

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