You don't have to litigate. Collaborative divorce and mediation are two distinct alternatives to traditional divorce where you control your outcome, not the courts.
What option works best for you?
The collaborative divorce process takes place outside the courtroom and focuses on full disclosure by the parties, which has the potential to save you time and money associated with multiple court appearances, rescheduled hearing dates, and costly discovery battles. In collaborative divorce, both parties and their attorneys agree to disclose all relevant information to the divorce in an efficient manner and then negotiate to reach a mutually agreeable settlement.
During the process, the lawyers work with the clients and one another to assure a balanced process where both parties can each participate. The parties may also utilize financial experts, mental health professionals, and other experts to help them reach an informed mutual decision regarding custody, support, the division of property, and other relevant matters. After the parties reach an agreement, the attorneys draft a document that both parties approve and that ultimately becomes a binding judgment of the court.
I have over 40 hours of training in collaborative divorce and communication strategies and currently serve as the President of the New Orleans-based collaborative divorce practice group. As your attorney in the collaborative divorce process, I will work with you to educate you about your options, provide guidance through the process, and empower you to reach collaborative resolutions in your divorce. For more information on the collaborative divorce process, you can visit the Collaborative Divorce Alliance of Greater New Orleans webpage and read these FAQs from the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
Mediation also circumvents the courts and focuses on full disclosure by the parties, and like collaborative divorce, has the potential to save you time and money. In contrast to collaborative divorce, mediation uses a neutral third party mediator who helps facilitate settlement between the parties. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties, but helps the parties reach mutual agreements about each issue, including custody, support, the division of property, and other relevant matters.
In mediation, some parties choose to have attorneys present during the mediation, others consult their attorneys between sessions, while other couples choose to participate in mediation without attorneys. Ultimately, the parties may submit their agreement to the court to become a binding judgment.
With over 80 hours of mediation and negotiation training, I offer two services in mediation: I can serve as an independent and neutral mediator to help guide you and your spouse towards settlement, or I can serve as your attorney during the mediation process if you and your spouse have already engaged an independent mediator.