Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party assists the participants in reaching an agreement. The mediator may be an attorney or other professional trained in conflict resolution. The mediator provides legal information but cannot give legal advice and cannot complete the case in court once an agreement is reached.
Collaborative Law is a process for handling a divorce and other family issues in which a separate attorney trained in family law and conflict resolution techniques represents each spouse. The lawyer provides legal advice, assistance in framing issues and facilitates negotiation. When a settlement is reached, the attorneys for both spouses cooperate in preparing and filing the necessary legal documents to conclude the action in court. Mental health professionals (acting as collaborative practice also called divorce) coaches or child specialists work as part of a team which also includes a financial specialist. These professionals use their individual expertise to provide guidance concerning emotional and financial issues related to the divorce and assistance in communication.