Mediation and Collaborative Divorce

Mediation involves the intervention of a neutral third party to assist with resolution of family law issues.  The goal of mediation is to facilitate agreements that meet the needs of both parties and their children without the financial and emotional costs of litigation.  In addition to working with the parties to resolve substantive family law issues, the mediator can also draft all documents necessary to finalize a divorce or other family law matter.

Mediation is a confidential process designed to facilitate open and honest communication between the parties. In the mediator’s capacity as a neutral, the mediator can educate the parties regarding substantive issues and guide the parties through all aspects of the family law process. While not required, some parties benefit from having independent consulting attorneys participate throughout various phases of the mediation process.

Mediation is a client-centered process reflecting the different dynamics and needs of different families.  Trained mediators and Certified Family Law Specialists, Jeffery Jacobson and Elizabeth Potter Scully are highly experienced and skilled in working with families needing to resolve family law issues ranging from property division to support to parenting plans for families with children.

Collaborative Divorce is a process where parties retain collaborative attorneys who represent the needs of their respective clients while working together as a team to resolve issues.  Rather than turning the decision-making power over to a judge or other third party, control of the collaborative process is held by the parties.  The team approach embodied in the Collaborative Divorce process often involves the use of mental health professionals as coaches and child specialists as well as financial experts to facilitate resolution of a broad range of financial issues.

Collaborative Divorce requires a commitment by the parties to resolve issues without litigation and in a respectful manner.  Collaborative Divorce is not for every family and requires a commitment by the parties to engage in a complete and accurate exchange of information.  When parties agree by stipulation to engage in the process of Collaborative Divorce, the respective attorneys work in the capacity of advisors and settlement specialists.  While engaging in the Collaborative Divorce process does not involve the waiver of any client rights, collaborative attorneys will not participate in litigation in the event that the parties are unable to reach agreements.

In the process of helping families to resolve all issues in their family law matters, the goal of the Collaborative Divorce is to enhance communication by the parties and to lay the foundation for a healthier relationship both during and after a divorce.


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