- Divorce/Dissolution of Marriage
- Collaborative Family Law
- Parental Responsibility & Time Sharing
- Child Custody Matters
- Child Support
- Alimony/Spousal Support
- Child Relocation
- Domestic Violence
- Equitable Distribution
- Post- Judgment & Modification
- Mental Health/Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- Termination of Parental Rights
- Pre-Nuptial/Post-Nuptial Agreements
- Grandparent/Family Member Custody
Collaborative Family Law
Florida Collaborative Family Law
The idea of divorce or other family issues can bring up images of messy, contentious proceedings taking place in a courtroom. This is especially true when the circumstances surrounding the situation have already left someone hurt or feeling betrayed. However, traditional divorce and other adversarial proceedings are being used less and less in Florida thanks to the development of an alternate method of creating a settlement agreement that does not involve courtrooms or judges. This unique field of Florida collaborative law allows couples to resolve conflicts, disputes, and other issues without needing to set foot in a courtroom.
What Is Florida Collaborative Law?
In Florida, collaborative law is one of many legal processes that helps couples going through divorce or other family law disputes work respectfully together to find amicable solutions, reach agreements, and find resolution for their differences. Ideally, this means the parties involved can avoid contentious, emotional courtroom experiences when reaching a solution to their family law issues.
In the collaborative family law process, the couple will use a variety of professionals with special training to help them work together to come up with solutions in the best interest of not just the spouses, but their entire family unit. This can be particularly beneficial in many situations, but especially when children will be affected by the process and outcome.
How Do I Begin the Collaborative Family Law Process?
It’s important to understand at the outset that the collaborative family law process is not for everyone, so remember to be realistic when looking at your options. Though the process has several advantages, couples who believe reaching an agreement isn’t possible may need to litigate their issues in court. An experienced Florida family law attorney can help you understand the best option to pursue.
If you have decided to participate in the Florida collaborative law process, it’s important to speak to your partner so you both can hire legal counsel familiar with collaborative law and willing to engage in the process. After you both retain attorneys, an initial meeting can be scheduled to review your unique situation and, if appropriate in your case and agreeable to both parties, sign a participation agreement.
What is the Florida Collaborative Divorce Process?
Once a participation agreement is signed by the divorcing couple, a series of meetings will take place between the couple and their attorneys. In these meetings, you will discuss important issues related to the divorce, including:
- Child custody
- Visitation schedules
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Distribution of assets
During the collaborative divorce process, the spouses are required to be honest at all times and make full, complete disclosures when requested. Doing so:
- Allows the parties more control
- Maintains the transparency of the process
- Prevents the use of deceptive attacks or one spouse going behind the other’s back
- Hopefully minimizes resentment and will promote healthy post-divorce communication between the spouses if children are involved
Attorneys for the spouses will work to encourage the use of respect and cooperation during the process as well as help the couple avoid confrontation when possible. If this proves difficult, they may bring in additional professionals such as counselor or family psychologists to help.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
In traditional Florida divorces, many issues of great importance to the couple are decided by a judge. The collaborative divorce process, on the other hand, permits them to decide important issues such as child custody, spousal and child support, and property for themselves.
Higher Satisfaction Level
During divorces where the collaborative process isn’t utilized, it’s easy for one spouse to walk away satisfied with the result while the other feels they were cheated or “lost” their case. Because the spouses work together to create an agreeable settlement in collaborative divorces, often they both feel satisfied with the result. The control both parties have in settling important issues when creating their agreement helps any settlement that they reach be more amenable to everyone involved – even though it’s unusual for anyone to get everything they want.
Divorces often cost a significant amount of money, but the collaborative divorce process can help lower the bill for both parties. Traditional divorces often require that, if experts such as accountants or other professionals become necessary, each party hires their own and pays for their services. Collaborative divorces usually only require hiring one expert to handle a matter when needed, and the couple splits the costs.
Contentious Florida divorces can drag on for years. However, couples working together through the collaborative divorce process can greatly speed up the exchange of information through what might otherwise be lengthy discovery. This quick turnaround of information can result in reaching an agreement and finalizing your divorce more quickly.
Avoiding Adversarial Litigation Proceedings
Divorce cases can be nerve-wracking experiences; many people are uncomfortable in a courtroom setting or being questioned by the other spouse’s attorney. Collaborative divorces can avoid these scenarios and make the process much less stressful. In most successful cases, the spouses may only need to appear in court to have the final agreement adopted.
Contact a Florida Family Lawyer Today!
It’s always difficult making the decision to go through a divorce. The process can also understandably be overwhelming, emotional, and complicated in many situations. However, working with an experienced Florida collaborative family law attorney can make the process much easier for everyone involved. The attorneys at The Florida Probate and Family Law Firm understand your situation, and we will use our extensive experience to secure the most favorable solution in your case. We pride ourselves on understanding our client’s needs and goals, and then use our knowledge, skill, and resources to work towards a desirable outcome. Contact us today to discuss your situation, get your questions answered, and find out how we can help make your divorce as painless as possible.
Our team will aggressively represent your interests and work towards a favorable resolution. We are with you every step of the way.
If you need assistance with any of these family law issues,
please contact our office to schedule a consultation today.
please contact our office to schedule a consultation today.