Understanding Mediation and Collaborative Divorce in Missouri

Ending a marriage is often a difficult decision that a couple has to make. Besides the emotional anguish the separation can bring, the couple has to resolve several issues, including division of assets, child support agreements, and custody arrangements. Couples can avoid costly and time-consuming litigation by having collaborative divorce and mediation in Missouri. The decision can save on the fees they would have paid during separation through litigation.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is a separation process that allows the parties to split without having the court decide the issues, and it can avoid unnecessary emotional and financial strains. Parties pledge in writing to engage a collaborative practice group to resolve to resolve their differences. Couples that use this process can focus on their long-term goals, the welfare of their children, and their future financial prosperity while avoiding the court more adversarial environment.

How It Works

Most collaborative divorces follow these steps:

  1. Each party retains an attorney. Choose a lawyer that understands this process and has adequate experience handling similar cases. Ensure they can negotiate well to protect your interests. You can contact a law firm and ask questions to determine if their attorneys can protect your interests in this process before hiring them.
  2. The parties sign a “no court” agreement. This document directs both attorneys to withdraw if the case continues to litigation in court.
  3. Meet your attorney privately. In this meeting, tell the lawyer what you want. However, remember you may compromise as the process continues. You can inform the lawyer of your limits. Deciding how to settle the significant issues before negotiations is crucial to ensure the process proceeds smoothly and you have sustainable solutions.
  4. Meeting your partner and their attorney. The discussions in this step can happen in days, weeks, or months. They may involve other professionals, like accountants and child custody specialists. These experts can help you determine the best outcomes in this process.
  5. Contact a family court. Once you have agreed on all the issues, visit a family court to file the divorce papers and settlement arrangement. This process can be straightforward because you have determined the major decisions, making the process uncontested.

Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce can have these benefits:

  • Promotes the welfare of the couple and their kids by avoiding physically and emotionally draining litigation.
  • It can be affordable and straightforward if parties agree quickly.
  • This process can promote confidentiality.
  • The parties can schedule the process for when it is convenient for them.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a confidential separation process that uses a mediator (neutral third party) to facilitate communication and negotiations between the parties. The mediator promotes voluntary decision-making during the divorce. In mediation, the mediator can help parties understand each others’ views and discuss alternatives for settlement. Parties have the right to decide, as the mediator only helps them reach a consensus. Some divorce attorneys can be expert mediators. Contact a firm to discover if they have lawyers who have experience handling mediation.

Benefits of Mediation

  • Reduce expenses: Hiring a single mediator can be cheaper than hiring two attorneys to represent the parties in court. Courts may also impose some fees that you avoid by choosing mediation. Mediation can have these benefits during your divorce:
  • Greater control: The parties can reach an acceptable agreement through consensus in mediation. If they feel that a specific issue’s conclusion is not satisfactory, they can restart the discussion until they have an arrangement that works for both parties.
  • Managing relationship: A mediator can use their expertise to ensure the parties get along well during the discussions. This understanding can be helpful as the pair handle co-parenting and relate after the separation.

Aramjoo Law Firm LLC can help you if you are divorcing. We are an affordable and experienced legal firm in Liberty, MO. Once you contact us, our attorneys will evaluate your case, learn your needs, and determine how to help you achieve them. We also have experience handling collaborative divorces. Contact us today to learn how we can help you through this period.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the collaborative divorce or mediation take?

Each case is different, but the processes can take days, weeks, or months.

Does using these methods eliminate the option of litigation?

No. If an agreement cannot be reached you can still go to court to resolve the issues.

How can an attorney help?

A divorce lawyer can help you by informing you of the law, handling paperwork, negotiating on your behalf, and ensuring your interests are advocated for.