Many couples are surprised to learn there are many ways to get a divorce. For couples committed to the process, a collaborative divorce saves time, money, and heartache. Not every divorce lawyer in Florida practices collaborative law in divorce work, however, those that do often find it is the best option for their clients.
Understanding What a Collaborative Divorce Is
When couples agree to engage in the collaborative divorce process, both parties and their lawyers all sign an agreement indicating their intention to resolve the most common issues of divorce without court intervention, including:
- Child support
- Child custody
- Parenting time
- Division of assets
- Division of debts
During the collaborative divorce process, both parties meet separately with their lawyers, as well as together as a group, to work out the issues specific to the marriage.
How Collaborative Divorce Saves Time
Because couples in a collaborative divorce agree to work together to explore the common goals of divorce, there is less time spent on litigating issues. Rather than fighting over the release of income and asset information, both parties agree to the exchange without argument or delay. Additionally, because collaborative divorces stay out of court, there is one less schedule to be concerned with. In a traditional divorce, both parties, their lawyers, and the courts compare schedules to find a mutually agreeable date. Courts are often booked months in advance, which can delay the process considerably. Collaborative divorces tend to resolve significantly quicker than those that are litigated.
How Collaborative Divorce Saves Money
Obviously, a case that takes less time will usually cost less money. Collaborative divorces offer other cost saving features as well. For example, in a traditional divorce, both sides may hire experts, such as child custody specialists or forensic accountants. Each expert offers their opinion on the matter. Sometimes, the experts agree on an approach. Other times, however, they disagree, and litigation ensues. Then, courts must pick one expert’s opinion over the other. In a collaborative divorce, both sides share the cost of a single expert who reviews the case and offers their opinion on the issue at hand.
How Collaborative Divorce Saves Heartache
Very often, in divorce cases, one or both parties have engaged in some bad behavior. From simply being disrespectful, to committing adultery, bad behavior can lead to pain and other negative emotions. These issues may come up while working towards a settlement, in the traditional court system and in collaborative divorces. The difference is, with traditional divorces, a court reporter is sometimes present. The court reporter’s job is to take down every word that is said by each of the parties. This is a public record, and available for anyone to read.
In a collaborative divorce, both parties still may talk about bad behavior, as well as how or why this may impact the divorce settlement. These conversations, however, take place in a lawyer’s office, and are not public record. They will not be available for adult children or other family or friends to review. Instead, these discussions remain private.
If you are considering divorce, contact the law office of Eric C. Cheshire, P.A. We have extensive family law experience and provide clients with a specialized perspective on how to approach a collaborative divorce. Call us today at (561) 655-8844.