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Is collaborative divorce the same as mediation in MA?

Doing a little research on my options regarding the situation I'm in with my current wife. I think we both know where we're heading but we'd like to keep it as non-confrontational as possible. I was wondering about collaborative divorce and whether it is the same as mediation. Any ideas? Thanks.

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Not exactly.  Follow this link for a description of divorce mediation and of the potential benefits of the process.  In a nutshell, with mediation, a single person, usually an attorney, works with both parties to reach an amicable resolution.

In a collaborative divorce, each party retains a trained collaborative divorce attorney and commits to reaching a negotiated settlement.  The goal is to avoid going to court until the parties are ready to seek a divorce judgment in an uncontested proceeding.  Transparency is the norm with collaborative divorce, and the two parties and their attorneys will usually work together in meetings and attempt to provide full disclosure on all issues.  Because of this transparency, if the process does not work and the parties fail to reach a settlement, both attorneys must withdraw from the case, and the clients must then retain litigation counsel to finish the process in court.   Hope that helps.  Good luck.

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