Divorce and child custody battles can be ugly. Exposing children to family battles around custody and divorce issues can be traumatizing and have lasting effects. But it doesn't have to be that way. Collaborative law is a family law version of alternative dispute resolution that is gaining in popularity in Florida and across the country.
The idea behind it is that the family works together with a group of professionals to resolve their differences and arrive at an agreement that works for the family. The concept requires that a couple be willing to work together to arrive at an agreement, with the focus on problem solving as opposed to traditional litigation. It also gives the family more control over the process, may save money and will almost definitely save time. This method can also spare children from exposure to the trauma by reducing or eliminating conflict between parents.
The process allows the parties to work with a team of professionals that includes lawyers and may possibly include financial and mental health experts as well. The team approach allows for delegation of issues and group resolution to issues that may benefit the entire family for the long term. The collaborative process is not for everyone, and it does not preclude the possibility of a court settlement if the collaborative effort is simply not working.
Anyone considering a divorce in Florida may want to explore the option of collaborative law with an experienced family law attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can review a client's situation and offer advice on the options available in this process. As with litigated proceedings and mediation, each party to a collaborative divorce is fully entitled to rely upon legal counsel at every stage of the proceedings.