When Collaborative Divorce Works, and When it Does Not
In the summer of 2017, The Collaborative Law Process Act took effect in Florida, making collaborative divorces possible for couples across the state. Collaborative law provides another method for couples that are getting divorced or that are dealing with other family law issues. Being that this process is relatively new in Florida, it is important to understand what it entails, when it works, and when it does not.
What is Collaborative Law?
During the collaborative law process, all the parties involved meet in an informal setting as they try to come to a settlement agreement outside of the courtroom. Attorneys for both sides are typically present during the meetings, and other neutral professionals such as parenting experts, certified public accountants, and financial advisors may also be called in to advise on the facts of the case.
When it works, collaborative law has many benefits. It removes the case from the public domain of the courtroom and moves it to a private setting. The agreement, and anything that happens during negotiations, is completely confidential.
Perhaps an even bigger benefit that comes with the collaborative law process is that it gives the couple complete control of the process. If the process does not work, the case will move to the courtroom, where a Judge will make all decisions about the case. Once a Judge makes a decision about a certain term, but the parties are required to comply with the order.
Collaborative divorces can also be much less costly than litigated divorces, and are usually finalized much more quickly.
When Collaboration Does Not Work
Although collaborative divorces have many benefits for those involved, it does not always work. If one or both parties cannot remain honest and forthcoming throughout the collaborative process, the process will not work because there is then no fair way to divide assets and debts.
As the name suggests, collaborative law requires the two parties to collaborate and work together. If there are trust issues between the two spouses, there may also be resentment between them, which may result in the couple not being able to come to an agreement, hindering the collaborative law process.
Our Florida Divorce Lawyers can Help Throughout Collaboration
If you are getting a divorce, The Collaborative Law Process Act provides another possible way to do it. However, you must still speak to an Orlando family lawyer that can help you secure the most favorable outcome during the process. At O’Mara Law Group, our experienced attorneys can help you prepare for collaboration, walk you through the entire process, and ensure your rights are protected at all times. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.