Florida recently passed the Collaborative Law Process Act, which establishes a formal regulation for using the method of collaboration in divorce settlements. Using this process to negotiate a divorce agreement is advantageous because it often takes less time and money than the standard method involving court litigation. Here are some other advantages of pursuing a collaborative divorce.
It’s a fully cooperative process between the divorcing couple and their lawyers. For collaboration to proceed, both parties need to agree to participate. In many cases, other professionals such as counselors or financial experts participate as neutral consultants. Personal information stays out of public court filings, and collaborative meetings take place with only those directly involved present.
Collaborative divorce offers a focused approach to solutions that benefits the children in the family. The process creates a safe space where family matters get discussed fully by both spouses. This is an ideal situation when details such as co-parenting schedules are being discussed.
Since all information that cannot be used outside of the collaboration process, both parties can feel comfortable expressing their wants and needs. Marriage dissolution is difficult for the whole family, so the collaborative process helps children feel more comfortable with their family situation by promoting an environment of cooperation and mutual respect .
With collaboration, you avoid all of the stressful elements of a court process such as formal discovery and hearings. At the beginning of the collaborative settlement process, each spouse pledges their commitment to resolving divorce matters outside of court. This agreement places the priority on coming to decisions with the help of lawyers and other professionals trained in the collaborative process.
In addition, all of the professionals involved in the collaborative law process make a formal agreement to not represent their clients in court in the event the collaboration fails, and the divorce ends up in litigation. Full disclosure of facts is facilitated in this process because the lawyers involved will not represent their clients in litigation.
You Make the Decisions
In this type of divorce settlement, you and your spouse make the decisions, not a judge. While there are professionals involved in the collaborative divorce process, they are there to ensure that everyone’s voices are heard in the negotiation and decision making. There are no winners or losers, so the whole family moves forward in a new arrangement with mutual agreement.