Steps in the Collaborative Process
- Initial Consultation between Client 1 and Client 1’s Collaborative Attorney
- Initial Consultation between Client 2 and Client 2’s Collaborative Attorney
- Professional Team Meeting between Collaborative Attorneys
- Initial Full Professional Team Meeting
- Initial Meeting with Clients and Neutral Mental Health Facilitator [NMHF]
- Initial Meeting with Clients and Neutral Financial Professional [NFP]
- Clients Meet separately with their Collaborative Attorneys to review
the Participation Agreement and Prepare for the Full Team Meeting
- Professional Team Meeting to review/discuss the Agenda
- NMHF sends out the Agenda to the Full Team
10. Before Full Team Meeting #1, the Professional Team has a 30 minute Pre-brief
11. 2 Hour Full Team meeting follows the Agenda and may include team homework assignments
12. Professional Team has a 30 minute Debrief after the Full Team meeting
- NFP and Clients meet to gather and analyze financial data as needed
- NMHF and Clients meet to create a Parenting Plan, if applicable
- Meeting between Clients and Respective Attorneys along with
NFP or NMHF, as needed
- NMHF emails Full Team the proposed Minutes form the 1st Meeting
and proposed Agenda for the 2nd Meeting
- Before Full Team Meeting #2, the Professional Team has a 30 minute Pre-brief
- 2 Hour Full Team meeting follows the Agenda and may include team homework assignments. Minutes from Meeting #1 are approved/revised as needed
- Professional Team has a 30 minute Debrief after the Full Team meeting20. Attorneys begin drafting documents as needed
- Attorneys begin drafting documents as needed
- NFP and Clients continue to meet in order to review data,
prepare financial affidavits, and discuss financial concerns
- NMHF and Clients continue to meet in order to finalize Parenting Plan
- Meeting between Clients, Respective Attorneys, and NFP or NMHF
- Meeting with Attorneys and Respective Clients to review all documents
- NMHF emails Full Team the proposed Minutes from the 2nd Meeting and proposed Agenda for next Meeting
- Before Full Team Meeting #3, the Professional Team has a 30 minute Pre-brief
- 2 Hour Full Team meeting follows the Agenda and may include team homework assignments.
Minutes from Meeting #2 are approved/revised as needed
- Professional Team has a 30 minute Debrief after the Full Team meeting
- Professional Team finishes drafting any needed documents
- Documents are reviewed by the Clients and questions are answered by the appropriate Professional Team member
- NMHF emails Full Team the proposed Minutes from the 3rd Meeting
and proposed Agenda for next or Final Meeting
- Before Final Full Team Meeting, the Professional Team has a 30 minute Pre-brief
- 2 Hour Full Team meeting follows the Agenda. Minutes from Meeting #3 are approved/revised as needed
- Final Full Team Meeting includes signing of documents
35. Final Hearing attended by Clients and their Attorneys
The Collaborative method 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 Divorce can produce a settlement agreement that is tailored much better to the unique circumstances of the parties and their children.
How Does the Collaborative Process Work in Florida?
The process is completely voluntary; therefore, both parties must agree to use the Collaborative Divorce process to resolve their issues. The parties can choose this process either before or after beginning the dissolution process. The Collaborative Divorce 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 Divorce 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 Divorce process.
When done correctly, Collaborative Divorce 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 Divorce Process to Dissolve a Marriage?
The goal of the Collaborative Divorce 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.