Is Collaborative Divorce Just Mediation On Steroids?

The answer is no, and here’s why.

Here are 4 advantages that collaborative divorce provides when compared to mediation:

  1. No Litigation – in collaborative divorce, both attorneys will sign a disqualification clause that disqualifies them from representing you or your spouse in litigation. This means that both lawyers will be “all in” on helping you reach a final agreement.  The lawyers will not “act like lawyers” and threaten litigation at every turn.  Instead, the lawyers will be settlement specialists, and they will work hard to help you resolve your divorce without fighting in court.


  1. Transparency – In collaborative divorce, you and your lawyer can ask for any document that you want to review before you discuss settlement, and you actually get it. That sounds basic but it’s not.  It’s a huge advantage that is provided in the collaborative divorce process.  In litigation that leads up to mediation, you may have to issue a subpoena or file a motion with the court and wait months to see the document that you can get in a couple of days with the collaborative divorce process.


  1. No Surprises – In collaborative divorce, we work together as a team to prepare a written agenda before each settlement meeting in your divorce. This means that both you and your spouse know in advance the issues that we will be negotiating before we meet.  This provides you and your collaborative divorce attorney the ability to prepare and to focus on only those issues.  You and your attorney will work as a team to present all of the best alternatives to resolve the issues, and then come to the best possible solution for you and your family.  This helps us to stay on track, to build momentum and to reach a final agreement that is fair to you and your spouse.


  1. You Have Time to Think – In mediation, you often times will get one shot and that’s it. You may have one day to resolve your entire divorce.  During the one day mediation conference, you will be asked to sign a 20 plus page contract that affects the rest of your life and your family.  If you don’t sign the contract when it is presented to you, the other side may revoke the offer, and request a court date.  In collaborative divorce, there is no ultimatum to sign or go to court.  We have already agreed in writing before we start negotiations that the lawyers are disqualified from representing you if you go to court.  Instead, we encourage you and your spouse to take your time, and to think over the life-long decisions that you are being asked to make.  You are allowed the time you need to speak with important people in your life and to think over these decisions.  We spread out the non-adversarial settlement meetings over a period of 2-3 months.


If you, or a friend of yours, has questions about collaborative divorce in Palm Beach County, we are here to help.


Chad Layton, Esq.

Mindful Divorce, P.A.

(561) 537-8227

Schedule a Consultation


Office Located At:

205 Worth Ave.

Suite 303

Palm Beach, FL 33480

Phone (561) 537-8227

Office E-Mail:

Office Website:

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