Based on the many recent news articles, it seems more and more divorcing couples are moving toward a collaborative divorce model. It’s a growing trend that offers both spouses an opportunity for an amicable divorce rather than the more adversarial and frustrating litigation process that has traditionally dominated divorce cases. Essentially, a collaborative divorce is the newest method of an alternative dispute resolution in Florida Family Law.
Some experts also suggest the shift toward collaborative divorce, sometimes referred to as an ‘Uncontested Divorce’, is a reflection of continuing economic concerns throughout the state of Florida . Ongoing divorce litigation can cost thousands of dollars for each divorcing spouse. However a collaborative divorce that involves mediation and negotiations may cost as little as a few thousand to resolve – and it’s time-saving in comparison to a traditional, lengthy divorce proceeding. Since many divorcing couples are already experiencing some level of financial burden, concluding the divorce proceedings with as little as expense as possible is likely to be an attractive option.
Collaborative Divorce and Child Custody
When children are involved in a divorce, parents often see the benefits of placing their children’s needs and best interests before their own issues of frustration, anxiety and negative emotions. By avoiding behaviors that place their children in the tumultuous center of their divorce, parents can work together to effectively co-parent their children.
In a collaborative divorce, parties work together with their respective attorneys, a neutral third party financial advisor, a mental health professional if needed, and a mediator in order to reach an agreement on all issues related to their divorce, including child custody and visitation arrangements, and child support. The idea behind collaborative divorce is to avoid litigation, although it is still a possibility if the collaborative process fails in any aspect of the divorce. Obviously, this amicable divorce trend is positive for both children of the divorce and the financial situation of the divorcing parents who care for them.
FAQS About Collaborative Divorce
- First, both spouses must be interested in, and agree to, the collaborative approach process. You must determine this with your soon to be ex-spouse BEFORE you start the legal/negotiation portion of collaborative divorce process.
- Once both parties are in agreement on the process, a “Participation Agreement” is established and entered into by the parties. This agreement sets out the commitments in the collaborative divorce.
- Spouses, along with their attorneys, sign a contract committing to resolve all issues related to the dissolution of their marriage without going to court – or threatening to do so. Both parties and their attorneys work as a team to arrive at a just, equitable and mutually acceptable settlement.
- If children are involved, the parties will act according to their children’s best interests to promote positive relationships between the children and the divorcing parties and to minimize any emotional trauma to the children.
- Many collaborative divorces make effective use of neutral experts, and in most cases one expert will be used as opposed to two. This greatly reduces overall fees and leaves both parties in a healthier financial state. Collaborative attorneys are typically trained in reducing conflict and working cooperatively with non-confrontational strategies.
- Last, if either party ignores the “Participation Agreement” and pursues court or retains other outside legal representation, their collaborative divorce attorney is mandated to end their representation of the client.
It’s important to mention that collaborative family law process is not just restricted to divorce proceedings. The collaborative approach may be used in other types of family law cases, such as: paternity, child support, time-sharing modification, or other family law concerns.
If you are considering a divorce, contact a trustworthy Florida Family Law attorney who will listen to your concerns and advise you on how best to proceed while keeping your family’s best interests at heart.
If you’re considering a collaborative divorce, please contact us so we can help you and answer any questions you may have about the process.