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What is collaborative law and how does it work?

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2023 | Collaborative Law |

Although it has been around for a few decades, collaborative law is to still a relatively new way couples in the Fort Meyers area can get a divorce. Lawyers first suggested it as a way to avoid high-conflict divorces.

In a collaborative divorce, the couple agrees that they and their attorneys will work together to finalize their divorce. Our firm also refers to this process as a cooperative divorce.

They will share financial and other information freely and will agree to use financial and other or professionals and rely on those people’s opinions. The idea is that at the end of the process, the couple will negotiate and finalize their divorce.

There are a few things to keep in mind about this process.

  1. It is still a divorce. At the end of the day, the couple will have an agreement which, as part of their divorce, a court will be able to enforce if there are problems down the road.
  2. It is voluntary. Either side can at any stage in the process decide not to continue.
  3. However, in a collaborative divorce, if one side withdraws, both attorneys will terminate their services. The two sides will have to hire new attorneys if they choose to go forward with court litigation.

Is collaborative divorce the right process for everyone?

The advantages of collaborative divorce are that it tends to reduce the time, expense and stress of going to court. It gives Florida couples a measure of control over how their lives will look after a divorce since they, and not a judge, are setting the terms.

Especially for a couple with minor children, it can also set a tone of cooperation, which overall is better on the children’s mental health.

For high-earners, it may be particularly important that collaborative divorce offers a measure of privacy that they would not have were they to go before a Florida state court to resolve their issues.

On the other hand, collaborative divorce almost by definition requires a couple to be able to agree on things. A couple with an especially difficult relationship might find the process frustrating.

Spouses who have suffered from some type of abuse should also use collaborative divorce with a lot of caution. In many cases, collaborative divorce may put them in danger of further abuse.

Those interested in collaborative divorce should make sure they understand this legal option as well as possible alternatives.

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