Mediation is an alternative to litigation which allows you and your spouse to have creative control over the outcome of your separation and divorce. It is private, less expensive than litigation, and allows for the input of both parties.
Mediation usually involves five people: you and your spouse, your attorneys, and the mediator. Typically, you and your attorney are in one room, and your spouse and his or her attorney are in the other room. The mediator goes back and forth, carrying proposals and counterproposals, trying to reach a final agreement.
Sometimes people retain a mediator to mediate between them without either of them having an attorney. This choice works well when you and your spouse can talk with one another, but need a neutral third party to guide the flow of the conversation and refocus the two of you if the conversation goes in unplanned directions.
Because mediation is still a bit of an exercise in seeing how skillful a negotiator you or your attorney is, it does not have many of the benefits of collaborative law. It is somewhat adversarial in that it can become a struggle to see “How much can I get?” or “What will I have to give up to get what I want?” That is, each of you is still looking out for yourself, rather than trying to see the bigger picture and what is better for the (former) family as a whole.
Separating Together attorneys are not only experienced mediators, but several of them have also taught mediation and served as coaches and evaluators for new mediators. We work with you and your spouse to create a solution that works for both of you.