Types of Divorce


Anyone who has been involved in an acrimonious divorce case knows that the process can be protracted, expensive and emotionally devastating for the family.  We provide traditional court-based litigation as well as three alternatives: mediation, negotiation, and collaborative divorce.  At the Law Offices of Alison Silber, we will work with you to choose the process that is the best fit for you and your family.


What is mediation?

In mediation, a neutral thirty party facilitates conversations in which the parties exchange opposing ideas, ask questions, and brainstorm and evaluate solutions.  The goal of mediation is to reach a mutually acceptable separation agreement while lessening resentment and improving communication.  At the Law Offices of Alison Silber, we can serve as the mediator to non-clients, or we can represent our own clients in a mediation. 


What is negotiation?

The difference between mediation and negotiation is that there is no neutral third party in a negotiation.  Instead, both parties and their attorneys meet for a number of sessions to work out a separation agreement that satisfies both parties.  Mediation and negotiation are less expensive than trial, and give the parties the opportunity to creatively brainstorm solutions personally tailored to their lives.  In general, a judge will not have the time nor personal knowledge to divide the book collection by category of books or to set up a time-sharing arrangement for the family dog, both of which are examples of agreements which can be reached in mediation or negotiation.


What is collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce is the newest method of alternative dispute resolution in family law.  It is an out-of-court process in which the parties commit to resolving the entire divorce without entering a courthouse.  The parties further commit to sharing all requested documents, which means that they bypass the costly alternative of interrogatories, depositions, and motions to compel.   The parties may use child specialists, divorce coaches, and financial specialists to assist in the process.


What is traditional court-based divorce?

In court-based divorce, the parties depend on the judge to resolve their divorce for them.  If the parties do not reach an agreement during the discovery or pre-trial stage, the case proceeds to trial.  While the vast majority of family law cases settle before trial, we are able to provide strong and effective representation at court hearings and at trial.