Divorce is a catch-all term that refers to several legal methods you can use to end a marriage. An amicable divorce is more specific, but there are two options within this category. These are mediation and collaboration.
Usually, people prefer amicable divorces to contested divorces, because they potentially save you money and proceed much faster. According to the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, spouses that agree on all issues may circumvent the 90-day waiting period to obtain a divorce. But which type of amicable divorce is right for you? See below for a brief overview of both.
Mediation is more informal than collaboration. You meet with your spouse and a mediator during proceedings to negotiate the terms. The mediator does not decide the specifics of your case. Instead, they oversee the negotiation process and help you reach an agreement. Mediation is good for couples that want a quick divorce, and do not have any complicated issues. Mediation does not require individual representation by a lawyer, potentially saving you a lot of money.
Though, in theory, most people want to pursue mediation, the financial and familial issues surrounding marriage are often too complex. However, you can still avoid litigation through collaboration. Instead of using a mediator, both parties bring their representation to the negotiations. The downside is that if you sign a “no court” agreement, the lawyers must withdraw if you disagree. Potentially you will have to pay for representation twice.
An amicable divorce always has the potential to become adversarial. Sometimes, saving money costs more in the long run, so think carefully before choosing collaboration or mediation.