Ending a marriage is typically a traumatic process that could be exacerbated by the presence of contention. However, collaborative law offers couples in Florida and elsewhere the opportunity to finalize a divorce amicably. Those who can sit down together and negotiate an agreement can save time and money, and they might even limit the conflict and trauma.
A collaborative divorce requires each spouse to retain the services of an attorney with special training in this field of family law. After meeting separately with their respective lawyers to discuss their needs and wishes, all four will come together for negotiations. If necessary, professionals to advise on financial, real estate, tax or child-related issues can be brought in to assist the parties to reach a settlement agreement.
Once both spouses agree on the settlement, the attorneys can prepare it for presentation to a family court judge for inclusion in the final judgment. A collaborative divorce requires none of the legal proceedings that typically form part of contested divorces. These include litigious hearings, disclosure, interrogatories and a trial. For this reason, dealings with the court system are minimal.
When a couple decides on collaborative divorce, both spouses must be prepared to go the distance and negotiate a settlement agreement. They will likely have to sign a contract at the start of the process that will require them to find new legal counsel if the case goes to court because they could not reach a settlement. This is meant to keep the focus on achieving an agreement that is fair to all parties without having to resort to expensive and time-consuming litigation. Anyone in Florida who has questions about the pros and cons of collaborative law and the requirements for such a divorce can consult with an experienced family law attorney.