The most important difference between collaborative practice and mediation is that in the collaborative process, you have your own lawyer to advise and support you. A mediator cannot give you legal advice, and cannot assist you in reaching your goals. The mediator is a neutral, whose job is to facilitate an agreement. Many people seeking a divorce or addressing some other family problem do not have the legal knowledge to use a mediator without the help of a lawyer, and many are too distraught and upset to participate successfully in mediation. If your issues are complicated or particularly emotional, collaborative law might be a better option for you.