Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Victor A. Rotolo
Badge - Million Dollar Advocates Forum
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Badge - New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Attorney
Badge - New Jersey's Best Lawyers For Families 2018
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Badge - AV Preeminent Victor A. Rotolo
Badge - Client Champion Gold 2020
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Please click Award & Selection Criteria & Methodology for information regarding the specific criteria used for selection of each of the above awards.

Differences Between Collaborative Divorce and Divorce Mediation

Both collaborative divorce and divorce mediation are alternative processes to traditional litigated divorce. To determine if either of these alternatives is right for you, first consider their similarities and differences.

The two processes share a number of commonalities.

  • Both involve negotiating terms of a divorce outside of the courtroom;
  • Both give the divorcing couple more control over the final terms of their divorce, rather than having the court make decisions;
  • Both are non-adversarial approaches to divorce;
  • Both can save time and money over traditional litigated divorce proceedings;
  • Both are voluntary, meaning the couples can withdraw from the proceedings at any time, and
  • The information disclosed by either party during both proceedings is done so on a voluntary basis.

One major difference between the two processes is the role of the parties involved.

The Divorce Mediation Process

In divorce mediation, the divorcing couple, either separately or together, hires a neutral third party – a mediator – to help facilitate the proceedings. While the mediator does not have to be an attorney, he or she should be well-versed in divorce and family law matters.

The role of the mediator is to aid the couple in negotiating the terms of their divorce. The mediator must remain neutral throughout the proceedings and cannot represent either party. Instead, the mediator’s role is to keep both spouses focused and on track to resolve issues, arriving at difficult agreements. To do this, the mediator can point out information that may help both sides reach agreement.

Either spouse can withdraw from the mediation at any time. The mediator, however, can only leave the mediation for good cause.

The Collaborative Divorce Process

In a collaborative divorce, each spouse retains his or her own collaborative divorce attorney. All four parties must sign a statement acknowledging that if negotiations fail, the attorneys are to remove themselves from the proceedings and the couple must start over from the beginning. The attorneys are then prevented from representing either party in any future capacity relating to their divorce.

While the collaborative attorneys are retained to represent their individual client’s best interest, all four parties agree to work together toward reaching an agreement that ultimately takes into account the best interests of each spouse and their children, if any. Additional collaboratively-trained experts in the financial and mental health field may be called in to offer assistance with these negotiations.

Evaluating All Options

No one process is right for every divorce. In some relationships, an imbalance of power between the couple or a history of abuse can impede successful negotiations. Each couple must evaluate their own circumstances, including their ability or inability to work together, when selecting the best process for their divorce.

In both collaborative divorce and divorce mediation, both spouses need to be open to compromise and willing to be forthright in their negotiations. Both of these alternative processes can save time and reduce expenses associated with divorce; however, cooperation can also go a long way to minimizing the costs of a traditional litigated divorce.

The attorneys at Kearns Rotolo Law are experienced and trained in the areas of divorce mediation and collaborative divorce proceedings and are prepared to assist you in the process. 

Super Lawyers Badge

Victor A. Rotolo has been included on the List of New Jersey Super Lawyers in the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, marking his seventeenth year of inclusion on this list. The list of New Jersey Super Lawyers is generated by the Thomson Reuters organization which employs the following methodology and set of standards to compile the list each year. Super Lawyers Selection Methodology [No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court.]

Certified Civil Trial Attorney Badge

Victor A. Rotolo is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney.

"A certified attorney is more than just an attorney who specializes in a particular area of law. A New Jersey attorney who is certified by the Supreme Court as a civil trial attorney must have:

  • been a member in good standing of the New Jersey bar for over 5 years
  • demonstrated a substantial level of experience in civil trial law
  • been favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with his or her work
  • taken and passed a written examination in civil trial law."

Source: Supreme Court of New Jersey, Board on Attorney Certification, Brochure on Certified Civil Trial Attorney. See Rule 1:39: Specialty Certification of Attorneys.

Please contact the experienced attorneys at Kearns Rotolo Law if you have a collaborative divorce or divorce mediation matter you would like to discuss.

What Our Clients are Saying

The absolute BEST!!! I have a family of attorneys but needed someone local. Victor was recommended to me and words cannot describe how pleased I was with his firm. The outstanding service and attention each member of his staff gave to me surpassed any and all expectations. Victor surrounds himself with a hardworking team that he leads. I felt it was money spent wisely. I will continue to recommend Victor and his associates.

- Stephanie

Mr. Rotolo has helped me numerous times in legal matters and has continued to support and help me through countless hardships. He is dedicated to providing the best service and is a true professional. I will continue to consult with him regarding any legal issues in the future. He is a respectable, hardworking, kind hearted man and I would recommend his legal services to anyone.

- Matthew

I am an attorney and have practiced law for 26 years. I hired Vic to handle a very difficult family matter because I do not handle family law. Vic was extremely competent and obtained a result far beyond my expectations. Without his counsel my son's and family's life would have been changed forever. Thank you Vic for your good lawyering. I very much appreciate the personal attention and time dedicated to this matter. I highly recommend Vic.

- Anthony

We recently had a situation where we needed to hire an attorney. We selected Kearns Rotolo Law and I can honestly say that we were above and beyond satisfied with Vic and his team. We would absolutely recommend this firm to anyone should the need arise. We blindly picked the firm out of the phone book because I liked his ad. Now I believe that God was pointing us in the right direction. Thank you Vic and Kearns Rotolo Law for being there for us in our time of need.

- Kim

Victor's expertise, due diligence, and empathy for his client made my first experience with the law (and last) a non-stressful one. Before the case, I did my research and looked over about 20 lawyers before choosing Victor. All my sources pointed to him as the best and they weren't off even a bit. Victor treated my case like it was his own and kept me up to date with all my appointments, breakthroughs in the case, and guided me step through step in a process that I never thought that I had to come to endure. If Victor's not available Susy will go out of her way to take care you. The productivity and efficiency in that office is second to none. Thank you Victor!

- Michael