Collaborative law is a way to resolve the issues that arise when you dissolve a marriage without court intervention into the settlement terms. In addition to a settlement tailored to your specific needs, using this process ensures that your issues remain private instead of being “aired out” in a courtroom.
Parties must be willing to negotiate in a fair and open manner for the process to work. For spouses who can work amicably in a respectful environment without the vilifying or disparaging of the other party, collaborative law can produce a settlement agreement that is tailored much better to the unique circumstances of the parties and their children.
How Does the Collaborative Law Process Work in Florida?
The process is completely voluntary; therefore, both parties must agree to use the collaborative process to resolve their issues. The parties can choose this process either before or after beginning the dissolution process. The collaborative process is much like an alternative dispute resolution or negotiation, so both parties must be open to the “giving and taking” of negotiation. The willingness to compromise is often the key to a successful collaboration. Florida divorce attorneys with collaborative law experience can help guide the parties through discussions designed to reach an agreement both parties can accept.
To proceed, you and your spouse, as well as both attorneys, must sign a participation agreement that outlines the scope and terms of the non-adversarial process. Furthermore, you must be willing to be transparent — you must submit all relevant material and information to the other side for review. In return, your spouse must also disclose all relevant information to you. An honest disclosure of information and a good faith willingness to negotiate is the cornerstone of the collaborative law process.
When done correctly, collaborative law can prevent costly court costs, lessen stress, preserve relationships, and find solutions that are truly in the best interest of you and your children. Parties can retain the services of a mediator, psychologist, accountant, or other professionals to assist them as they work to arrive at an amicable agreement.
What is the Goal of the Collaborative Law Process to Dissolve a Marriage?
The goal of the collaborative law process is to resolve all issues involved in terminating a marriage without costly and time-consuming litigation. The parties work together to find an agreement that is in the best interest of all concerned parties regarding support, assets, debts, and custody. Should the parties fail to come to an agreement on all issues, the attorneys and other professionals must be discharged. The parties must then retain new counsel to being a contested dissolution of marriage proceeding through the judicial system.