The story often goes as follows: A couple gets married, starts having difficulties of some sort, and eventually decides to get a divorce. Most of the time, it is expected that divorces will be bitter and full of fighting and back-stabbing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Fighting over property division, assets, and child custody is not always necessary.
Fortunately, for those who do want a more peaceful, cooperative process, there is a solution: Collaborative law. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers defines collaborative law as both parties cooperating fully, negotiating towards a mutually beneficial divorce. Each party still has their own attorney (and the professionals behind them), but rather than fighting against each other, both sides share all information and use negotiation/mediation rather than letting a judge rule on the case.
According to recent reports, many people in Florida are starting to see the wisdom and benefits of such a cooperative approach, which are as follows:
- In contentious divorces, children are often feel like they are forced to “pick” one side or the other, but in collaborative law, they are more free to stay close to both sides
- Parents can even do more co-parenting to ensure that their child’s needs are fully taken care of, rather than putting stress on the child every time custody is handed over. In addition, parents remain a more active part of their children’s lives
- Often times, couples will be able to make decisions during the divorce that ultimately save them money in the long run, mostly related to asset division and taxes
- Finally, collaborative law is most often vastly quicker than a contentious divorce, and often saves you money on court and legal fees as well
The collaborative law process is not for everyone, however. If one spouse in your household tends to be domineering or abusive, then it is unlikely to work out well. Do not be afraid to discuss all options with your attorney, though. They will be able to advise you on which method would be best for you.