About three years ago, Florida enacted a law that allows divorcing couples to use a process called collaboration. Collaborative divorce keeps you out of court and offers several benefits. However, it is not for every couple and it’s important to understand the entire process before deciding on this option for your divorce.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
In collaborative divorce, both parties work together to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. This is in contrast to traditional divorce where it may feel as though you and your attorney are spending more time in court to reach an agreement with your spouse and their attorney. During collaborative divorce the process is completed out of court and out of public record which some also see as an advantage. The process often takes less time than traditional divorce which must take place in court. Often collaborative divorce costs less to both parties.
Keep in mind, however, that if you choose this process, it is an agreement not to go to court. Should the collaborative divorce be unable to be completed, each person will need to hire a new lawyer.
Each Party Needs an Attorney
You will work with your attorney throughout the collaborative divorce process. They should be present in all meetings with your former spouse, and it will be necessary to speak with your attorney privately to discuss proposed offers and settlement goals. Depending on your finances, you may also want or need the assistance of an accountant or financial planner. Your attorney can recommend a neutral third party who does not have prior experience with either you or your spouse.
Determine Your Rules and Goals
Many attorneys are familiar with the process of collaborative divorce. Your attorney will already know the standards of the process and will likely have already-established rules to help you take next steps. Rules sometimes include the amount of time set aside for each session, conduct requirements, an understanding of confidentiality, and full disclosure of all financial information. Goals may vary depending upon many factors such as children and details regarding finances and personal property.
Wagstaff Law Office Can Help
Our attorneys have experience in all types of divorce. If you are considering collaborative divorce and need more information, we can help you make an informed decision. Whether or not you choose to pursue collaborative divorce for your divorce, we will help throughout the process. Call us today to schedule your initial consultation at (727) 584-8182.