Divorce often involves emotionally charged, frustrating proceedings that lead to outcomes that one or both parties may find unsatisfactory. In Florida, it is possible to maintain control over a divorce settlement through a civil, transparent and private process. Through collaborative divorce, Florida couples may reach a divorce settlement without going to court — the parties and their attorneys work alongside a team of professionals to reach a settlement.
Collaborative divorce begins with a meeting between the divorcing parties and their attorneys. At this time, the parties discuss all issues to be settled. By signing a collaborative divorce agreement, each side promises to act in good faith in reaching a settlement without court intervention. However, if parties do not reach an agreement on all terms of divorce, the parties must retain new counsel and the court must intervene.
The parties will determine what other professionals or documents may be needed to work through the collaborative process. Neutral experts may be necessary, such as financial planners or accountants, to advise on certain issues. Through a series of meetings with this team of professionals, the divorcing spouses and their attorneys can be fully informed in outlining an agreement. In a particularly emotional divorce, the inclusion of a psychologist or divorce counselor may help facilitate productive communication.
The collaborative divorce process offers a more civil, and often more satisfying alternative to court proceedings with more structure and protection than mediation. Additionally, the collaborative process can lead to improved communications between former spouses after divorce. If you are interested in learning more about the collaborative method, contact an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process.