Collaborative divorce is one of the newest – and easiest – ways to handle a divorce. In a collaborative divorce, instead of two parties fighting over every minute of parenting time and household item, the couple deliberately sets the tone by hiring attorneys certified in collaborative divorce.
The Process of Collaborative Divorce
In a collaborative divorce, both parties initially sign a participation agreement. This agreement outlines the commitment of both parties and their attorneys to reach a settlement without judicial intervention.
During the collaborative divorce process, both parties meet, along with their lawyers. Together, they address all major issues involved in the divorce, including:
- Division of marital property
- Division of debts
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Parenting time
- Child custody
- Child relocation
Once these issues have been negotiated and agreed to, both parties sign a document called a Marital Settlement Agreement and Parenting Plan, which details the terms of the divorce. The court then reviews the agreement and approves it. Once approved, a final judgment of divorce may then be granted.
The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
One of the many benefits of collaborative divorce is that the couple sets the tone from the very beginning. The choice of collaborative divorce sends a message to children and extended family members that they are committed to working together to come to a resolution that works for everyone. Particularly for couples with children who will have to deal with each other for years to come, choosing a collaborative divorce starts the process of consciously uncoupling the marriage, while remaining unified on important family issues.
Collaborative divorce may be less expensive than traditional divorce litigation. In many litigated divorces, almost every issue is contested. Attorneys are paid by the hour to fight over who gets which assets, and who will be responsible for what debts.
In collaborative divorces, rather than working against each other, both parties work together to come up with a fair and equitable resolution. Additionally, collaborative divorces allow the couple, not a judge, to decide how important issues will be resolved. Couples are free to engage in creative resolutions that work best for their family, needs and desires.
Collaborative divorces are almost always resolved more quickly than a contested divorce. While each party does have to work with the schedule of their soon-to-be former spouse and their attorney, it’s much easier than dealing with a court docket, which is often booked for months in advance.
If you are considering divorce and think a collaborative divorce might be the right choice for you and your family, contact Eric C. Cheshire, P.A. Eric C. Cheshire is certified as a Collaborative Divorce Practitioner in Florida, and can help guide you and your family through the divorce process. Together, we can reduce the conflicts that so often accompany traditional divorces. Contact us today at (561) 295-3693 to schedule your consultation.