Mediation and Collaboration: Keeping Family First

Mediation and Collaboration: Keeping Family First

February 17, 2021

We all know of people who have experienced horrible divorces that have cost a ton of money, but also impacted their mental well-being. When I was going through my own separation, I was determined to not to let our uncoupling turn expensively hostile. I had used my financial savvy to understand what my former partner and I were dividing but equally essential was my negotiating skills.  Despite having our differences (there was few), I was able to create a communicative environment and lead us into finding resolution. I did not realize it at the time, but I was working my first case as a Family Financial Mediator.

Contrary to popular belief, divorce does not have to be a battle. It is possible to preserve each other’s dignity and have respectful divorce. It is important to conserve family dynamics for a working future relationship to occur- especially if kids are involved. Speaking of the youngest members in the family, it is they who lose the most when the divorce turns hostile. If you are interested in a process that puts family at the center, mediation and collaboration may be right for you.

Mediation is a structured negotiation process that has a third-party act as a neutral negotiator. The mediator has no power to make decisions; they work with you to create productive communication and help guide the conversation to resolution.  A Family Financial Mediator is a financial expert and uses your financial data as the basis of the process. After analyzing all the data, the information is distilled into a Divorce Impact Analysis Report. Everyone works together to find the settlement that considers both parties needs. In mediation, it is encouraged that you have a consulting attorney to bounce ideas off but they are not an active participant in the process.

The collaborative process is similar to mediation except that there are more divorce professionals involved. The divorce team is made up of collaborative attorneys (one for each spouse) and a financial neutral to quantize and negotiate the marital balance sheet. If there are children involved, a child specialist works with you to develop a parenting plan and custody agreement. In certain cases, a divorce coach joins the team to keep conversations productive and progressing.

The collaborative team provides the structure to gently unwrap your lives and find positive impact solutions. The backbone of the collaborative process is the No Court Agreement. To keep participants focused on solutions rather than destruction, everyone agrees that the attorneys will withdraw from the case and new attorneys must be found if litigation occurs. It is designed to prevent one party from threatening litigation or taking steps to pursue it after affirming to the collaborative process.   

The professionals work together; the process begins with the financial neutral gathering and analyzing the financial data. At a group meeting (both parties and attorneys), the financial neutral will share the Divorce Impact Analysis report and proposed settlement options. Working as a team, we solidify the win-win settlement. If there are children involved, the child specialist facilitates the creation of a parenting plan. The financial agreement and parenting plan are submitted as a divorce decree to the court. After the judge signs off, the process is complete.


Mediation and collaboration have other benefits:

  • Time Efficiency. Most cases resolved in three to four months. The divorce procedural process is flexible and is designed to be personalized to your specific situation. Litigation can take years!


  • Cost Effective. It may seem the height of irony but using a divorce team actually can actually make the divorce cheaper. Even highly trained attorneys do not have all of the specialized skills needed to keep the case moving forward. The team works together so services are not duplicated which results in the conservation of your funds.


  • Overcome Relationship Differences. The added structure of these peaceful resolution techniques allows you to move past long-standing power imbalances to have meaningful conversations about tough topics.

If you would like to replace fear with facts, contact or call 402.430.3092 today!


This is general information and should not be considered legal, tax, or financial advice.