What is a Collaborative Divorce?

When spouses think of divorce, it is often associated with a long courtroom battle. However, it is possible to resolve issues associated with a divorce without having to step into a courtroom. Couples can resolve their issues through negotiations and coming up with a mutual agreement for the terms of their divorce. Florida makes it possible for divorcing couples to stay out of the courtroom by offering a collaborative divorce.

The collaborative divorce process allows spouses to come to a settlement agreement without court intervention. Ultimately, a collaborative process will save both parties time, money, and energy.

How Does the Collaborative Process Work?

When couples agree to a collaborative divorce, they must both choose an attorney who understands the process and how it works. Having an attorney on each spouse’s side will ensure that the final agreement serves the best interest of both parties. The couple and each of their lawyers will meet for several sessions to discuss matters such as child custody, visitation, child support, property distribution, and alimony support.

The process will not work if couples are deceitful—as the name suggests, couples must be transparent with one another and work together throughout the process. This will keep couples from going behind one another’s backs to try to get a more flavorful agreement. Being open gives both parties equal control over how conversations regarding the agreement and final resolution will be handled. Moreover, being open will help couples develop good communication skills that will be beneficial following the divorce if the couple has to continue to communicate because of child custody and other matters.

Couples may have a difficult time being open with one another. In that case, other experts such as marital counselors can be brought in to help each party understand the importance of each layer in the process. Additionally, the attorneys for each respective spouse will also implement strategies that promote open communication and discourage conflict to move the process along.

Why Choose the Collaborative Process?

Couples often choose the collaborative process as an alternative to a traditional divorce because it is less painful than having to resolve issues in a courtroom, where personal matters may come up and the environment is tense. Some other benefits include:

  • Efficiency: A collaborative process is much more efficient than a traditional divorce because the process will not get dragged on due to conflict between parties. Both parties will come prepared with their respective attorneys and will both have the goal of coming to a favorable resolution for both sides. Communicating openly with one another makes the process go by much quicker.
  • Privacy: These sessions do not require couples to speak about personal and sensitive matters in a public forum that may come up in a courtroom during a traditional divorce proceeding.
  • Cost-Effective: By choosing a collaborative divorce, couples avoid the costs of litigation. Moreover, because the process requires open communication, couples will also avoid the costs that come with dragging along litigation in a traditional courtroom due to conflict.
  • Control: Couples will have more control over the terms of the final settlement because the process does not require any court intervention and a Judge will not decide the outcome.

When considering whether a collaborative divorce is the right option for you and your spouse, be realistic and approach this with logic. Unfortunately, in some cases, it is impossible for couples to effectively work together. If both believe they will not be able to come to a mutual agreement and resolve issues on their own, a traditional divorce may still be the best option.

Going through a divorce is never easy. The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm has a team of experienced Family attorneys located in Coral Gables, Florida. As attorneys who focus on family law, we understand how important it is to you as a parent to provide for your child. Our attorneys have helped clients in all types of circumstances with child custody modification matters. We serve the entire state of Florida, so call us for more information.