When you and your spouse got married, you vowed to build a life together. Perhaps you bought a home, had children, made investments, started a family business. Your marriage was a collaboration — a joint effort to work toward positive outcomes.

Now that your marriage is ending in divorce, you have a final opportunity to collaborate on a positive outcome. It is possible to reach a divorce settlement agreement in an amicable manner.

Fried and Fried, P.A., in Fort Myers encourages you to consider collaborative law — an approach that places personal, emotional and financial decisions in your hands rather than in the hands of a judge.

How Does It Work?

  • Collaborative law requires a team approach: You and your spouse will each have your own lawyers. Additionally, two neutral parties — a mental health neutral and a financial neutral — will be part of the team. The spouses and their respective attorneys proceed in the spirit of cooperation rather than adversarial litigation.
  • Collaborative law is a commitment: All parties — you, your attorney, your spouse, your spouse's attorney — will commit to reaching a negotiated marital settlement agreement. In fact, if you are unable to reach an agreement, you will need to essentially start the entire divorce process over with a new attorney.
  • Collaborative law is confidential: The divorce will not take place in a courtroom but rather in a private environment.
  • Collaborative law provides for positive outcomes: You will have ample input into the decisions that directly affect your life — who keeps the house, property division, parenting plans and more. Rather than a judge making decisions for you and your children, you and your spouse will make the decisions.

The Collaborative Law Process Act (CLPA)

On July 1, 2017, Florida's Collaborative Law Process Act (CLPA), section 61.56, Florida Statutes, took effect. Additionally, new Florida Family Law Rules — Rule 12.745 and Rule 4-1.19 — were adopted on May 18, 2017. The CLPA and the new Family Law Rules, among other items, require that attorneys must obtain informed consent from their clients regarding the collaborative process and must provide advice and full disclosure on many talking points, including the following:

  • The benefits and risks of the collaborative process
  • Alternatives to the collaborative process
  • Cost to the client
  • Client's ability to terminate the collaborative process

Benefits Of Collaborative Law

Collaborative law:

  • Often keeps children out of a contentious divorce
  • Gives you unmatched control over your own life and future
  • Is less time-consuming than a long drawn-out courtroom battle
  • Allows you to approach your spouse amicably and with the same goal in mind: a positive outcome for all involved

Would You Like To Learn More?

To arrange a consultation with Linda Holly Fried, our board-certified family law attorney, please contact us online or call 239-243-9287. We provide confidential consultations and excellent communication from the moment you walk in the door until the case is resolved.