Formal legal process with pleadings, discovery, hearings, and sometimes trial. Specialist orexperts may be used by agreement or to support a parties position. A Commissioner makes decisions during the temporary order phase and a judge makes the final decision if the parties do not reach agreement prior to trial.
A third party neutral with legal training makes the decisions based on the evidence presented by the parties and allowed for submission within the rules of civil procedure. It is often a streamlined process compared to litigation and offers more privacy than litigation.
A neutral third party helps the parties resolve their separation or divorce by agreement. The mediator cannot give legal advice. An individual may use an attorney or other professionals to prepare themselves for mediation, but the mediation sessions are typically just the mediator and the parties.
Attorneys are fulling involved in the resolution process to help the parties reach agreements. Other professionals such as mediators, child specialist, and financial specialist may be used by agreement or to support a parties view on an issue. Depending on the parties and attorneys this process may mirror litigation or collaborative or somewhere in between.
The process focuses on a positive outcome for all parties through joint problem solving. Each party has a specially trained lawyer to help reach an out of court agreement. The parties ma also utilize other collaborative professionals such as coaches, child specialist, and financial specialist. There is an agreement not to go to Court. This offers privacy and often reduces legal fees and length of the divorce process compared to litigation.