Mediation or Collaborative Law?   Choose Your Process

It is important to select the right process and the right professionals. You can use the directory on this website to find a settlement professional in your area. Some professionals will offer joint “process” consultations. This is an opportunity for both participants to meet with the same professional to learn more about mediation and Collaborative Law (joint consultations may not be available in all states). The benefit of a joint consultation is that both people get the same information at the same time.

People often wonder whether they should choose mediation or Collaborative Law for their case. Here are a few things to consider when deciding:

* Do you think you will be comfortable negotiating on your behalf or do you think that you would prefer to have a negotiating partner? If you think you can negotiate for yourself, then mediation may be a good option for you. If you feel like you would do better with someone there to assist you (i.e., a Collaborative lawyer) then Collaborative Law might be a better fit.

* Is it important to you to get legal advice? A mediator can give you legal information (the general rules) but cannot give you legal advice (advise you about what you should do). A Collaborative Law lawyer can you give you legal advice.

* Does one of you prefer mediation and the other prefer Collaborative Law? Collaborative Law provides more support to participants by giving them their own lawyer who is with them throughout the process. If someone prefers Collaborative Law it may be because they feel like they (or both participants) need more support. If one person prefers Collaborative Law, it probably makes sense to go with Collaborative Law because it provides that higher degree of support.

Once you select your process and your professionals, you can begin the work of settling your case.


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