1. Both are collaborative interest based processes.
  2. Both processes tend to balance assertiveness with empathy.
  3. Both processes tend to look to create value in addition to distributing value.
  4. Both processes tend to have elements of creative problem solving.
  5. Both processes enable and empower participants to resolve their own disputes and seek to avoid litigation.
  6. Where provided for in contract, Collaborative Divorce may have similar confidentiality provisions to the confidentiality provided for in divorce mediation.
  7. Both processes look for opportunities to create win-win solutions.
  8. Both processes are voluntary and may be terminated at any time by any of the participants.


  1. While divorce mediation requires candor and good faith from participants, with the exception of financial disclosure, it does not require that each spouse make full and complete disclosure to the other of all relevant information; whereas, such disclosure of all relevant information is required in the Collaborative Process.
  2. In divorce mediation, the parties may caucus and what is said in caucus will not be shared with the other side unless permission is given by the spouse who was caucusing with the mediator; whereas, in the Collaborative Process disclosure is required.
  3. Where lawyers are involved in divorce mediation, the lawyers may advise their clients out of the presence of the other party and not disclose to the other party the advice given; whereas, such advise is given in the presence of other party and attorney in the Collaborative Process or shared later if given in private session.
  4. Divorce mediation allows the client and their lawyer to strategize whereas the Collaborative Process does not.
  5. The mediator may not represent either party if an agreement is reached in obtaining a no-fault divorce; whereas, the divorce lawyers in Northern Virginia, after an agreement is reached, may represent their individual client in obtaining a no-fault divorce.
  6. In divorce mediation, lawyers may participate in litigation if the case doesn’t settle; whereas, Collaborative Divorce lawyers may not participate in such litigation.
  7. In divorce mediation, no legal advice is given unless lawyers participate and give advice; whereas, in the Collaborative Process, clients have benefit of legal advice and the lawyer’s experience throughout.
  8. Only neutral experts are used in the Collaborative Process, which is not necessarily the case in mediation.
  9. Divorce mediation can take place while litigation is ongoing; whereas, in the Collaborative Process, the parties agree they will not litigate as long  as the Process is ongoing.