Arizona Collaborative Colleagues > What is Collaborative Mediation?

Posted on July 20, 2013


From Pamela Donison, J.D.:

IACP defines Collaborative Mediation as:  Collaborative Mediation – Collaborative mediation is a style of mediation where two or more people are encouraged to work toward resolution in a transparent and peaceful manner. The goal is to support the parties to unfold the issues and create fair agreements that will stand the test of time.

Collaborative Mediation is an offshoot of Collaborative Practice in that it uses the “team” vernacular and litigation is off the table.  Some collaborative practice groups (Arizona Collaborative Colleagues included) began incorporating the role of mediator into their collaborative teams as a way to overcome impasse on distinct issues.  For example, the professionals and clients might be unable to resolve a division of business assets, so they would call in a mediator to help tease out a solution. Generally, the role of the mediator in a classic Collaborative Divorce is finite and limited to problem-solving on specific issues (versus global settlement) and the mediator is not with the team for the duration of the case.

  • Collaborative Mediation requires a collaboratively-trained neutral — the mediator. The value of collaborative training for this role is that it prepares the mediator to work as part of a team, to understand and communicate with other professionals and the clients in a collaborative “voice”, and to enhance dispute resolution skills.
  • Collaborative Mediation requires two clients who have committed not to litigate their case. This is a standard requirement in Collaborative Divorce, but is not the norm in mediation. In fact, one of the safeguards of mediation has been that if it all falls apart, you can always litigate. Not so in Collaborative Mediation because the primary intent is to avoid litigation. A Collaborative Mediation Participation Agreement outlines this requirement.
  • Collaborative Mediation allows other collaborative divorce professionals to be on the team. While some mediators employ the advantage of other professionals, rarely do they do so as a team approach. In Collaborative Mediation, you will have the same transparency and communication between team members as you would in a typical Collaborative Divorce

You can read more at Arizona Collaborative Colleagues.