This process involves you and your spouse sitting down at the “kitchen table” and working out for yourselves what the two of you want to do. You might consult books, the Internet or even relevant experts to get the knowledge you need. The two of you decide everything.
Hiring a professional Mediator provides you with someone who can help you to get the information you need, communicate in a focused and calm manner, ensure that mutually acceptable decisions are made and reasonable solutions are found to meet both individual’s needs.
Using this process, both you and your spouse will hire your own collaborative lawyer. All four of you will agree that you will not go to court but rather will do everything you can to work out a solution that is reasonable and equitable for both individuals. You do this by meeting and negotiating, all four of you together. Your lawyer is there as your advocate but also looks for a solution where both parties win.
The traditional law process also requires both of you to hire your own lawyer. You have your advocate, and your spouse has theirs. There tends to be more conflict in this process than collaborative law as the lawyers focus primarily on what is best for their client.
Adversarial law involves your lawyer, your spouse’s lawyer and the courts. This is a long, expensive and negative process that results in a judge making decisions for you and your spouse.