The Key Differences Between Divorce & Mediation

Getting a divorce can be a very tough decision. What often makes matters worse, is that the legal process involved can be long, expensive, and involve a lot of fighting in court. Traditional divorce cases involve both parties hiring their own private lawyer, and having those lawyers represent them in court. Proceedings differ from state to state, but in their essence, traditional divorce proceedings are centered around litigation and negotiation. However, many couples aim to settle their affairs quicker through the process of divorce mediation.

Mediation Vs Traditional Divorce

As mentioned above traditional divorce can involve courtrooms, litigation, and can be a long arduous process. Conversely, mediation exists as an alternative for couples that want to settle things amicably. Instead of each member of the couple hiring their own counsel to represent them, a single mediator works with both members of the couple. Negotiations are handled outside of the courtroom, and all that is necessary to proceed is that an agreement is met between both spouses.

Are Mediators Divorce Lawyers?

A very common question about mediation is whether or not mediators are divorce lawyers. Other couples often question what credentials are necessary to be a mediator. Mediation is a relatively younger field and regulation is still in its infancy in many regards. In many states, it is not required that a mediator is also an attorney or that the mediator has any specific accreditations. However, many couples feel more comfortable working with someone with legal experience. In essence, it is best to have someone who is both skilled at mediation and also has experience with the legal procedures necessary to divorce. A mediator should not just be experienced and knowledgable with divorce law, they should also be a compassionate and effective mediator who can offer a peaceful alternative to traditional divorce proceedings.

Is Mediation Right For Me?

Many couples wonder if mediation is the best choice. It is very dependent on the couple as well as the mediators that are available. For the couple, they need to be willing to have open communication that is not hostile and work towards a common solution to their divorce. As for finding a mediator, it is important to find one that is trustworthy and can provide the correct guidance and lead the couple through the process. Some couples take the collaboration approach. Collaboration is a hybrid model for divorce that often involves separate divorce lawyers combined with other professionals including mediators and child specialists.

Contact Deirdre Healy for Mediation & Collaborative Practice

Deirdre Healy is a skilled divorce attorney and mediator. She works with couples in Worcester and central Massachusetts to seek the best possible outcome for them and their children. If you are looking for a compassionate mediator who will make the divorce process smoother, less expensive, and less complicated, contact Deirdre Healy at or call 508-890-7900.