Traditional divorce has a reputation for being a long and expensive process laced with strong emotions and disagreements. A modern development in family law – Collaborative Divorce– is becoming popular in Florida. With people looking for ways to handle divorce in a less adversarial and expensive fashion as compared to traditional litigation, collaborative divorce is gaining increasing popularity in Florida. It is referred to as the gentler and kinder way to get a divorce.
The process of collaborative divorce promotes communication concerning difficult matters. It is designed as a non-adversarial dispute resolution process that allows both parties to be heard and encourages a peaceful and healthy settlement environment. Professionals like mental health and financial professionals are usually hired alongside family law attorneys to help ease the process and guide both parties to come to an agreement that settles their concerns.
Recommended as a peaceful dispute resolution process, collaborative divorce is voluntary which means the government doesn’t mandate it. Its key focus is on the settlement. The collaborative divorce works best for couples who believe they can work together in a non-adversarial way. It involves the desire to protect each other’s rights while agreeing to the settlement. Collaborative divorce enables them to avoid the competition mentality and takes measures to achieve the common goals.
The collaborative process identifies divorce as an emotional and financial matter besides a legal matter. The parties in the collaborative process attempt to reach an amicable settlement while avoiding any adversarial litigation. Both parties use negotiation as a means of resolving their differences. Each party needs their attorneys to initiate the collaborative divorce process. In some cases, the process is advised by some other party such as mental health expert or financial planner.
The collaborative process for divorce starts by both parties retaining attorneys. The part played by these attorneys is like that of a traditional divorce. They ensure that the rights of the parties are protected throughout the whole process. These attorneys offer important legal information regarding the outcomes of any agreement to which both the parties may settle.
Each party must first decide for themselves whether they want to pursue collaborative divorce to resolve their issues. The collaborative process for divorce is completely voluntary and can only work if both the parties are desirous of exploring it.
If both parties want to pursue a collaborative divorce framework, then a meeting between the parties and their lawyers is conducted to create a participation agreement. This agreement numerates the decisions that are required to be made and the ground rules for collaborative divorce are laid out. The agreement will also include evidence and other documents to be considered in good faith during the collaborative divorce process.
If one of the parties changes his/her mind and withdraws from the collaborative divorce process–choosing to pursue the traditional litigation for divorce–each party will have to find a new attorney as the current ones will have to withdraw from the case.
The Florida statute help preserve the confidentiality of the collaborative divorce. The information is kept out of the court file and is not subjected to public disclosure, unlike traditional divorce litigation.
When going through a divorce, you need to be aware of all your options. Although collaborative divorce is not for everyone, it is beneficial to check whether it is suitable for you or not. It is often more pleasant and less stressful than a traditional litigated divorce via the court system. Both parties must be equally dedicated and committed to making the collaborative process effective.
At Imudia Law, we have well trained and experienced family law attorneys that will advise you before and through a collaborative divorce process in Florida.