WHAT IS A COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE
As an alternative to uncontested and contested divorce, parties with significant assets or children may elect to dissolve their marriage collaboratively. In a collaborative divorce, the parties sign a binding contract known as the Collaborative Participation Agreement wherein the parties agree to treat each other with honesty and respect. The parties each hire an attorney who also signs the Agreement. The parties bind their attorneys to the process such that the attorneys may not represent their clients if the collaborative process fails and either party files a contested dissolution of marriage action. This is significant because in essence the parties and their attorneys are working towards a comprehensive settlement of all issues. Each party still benefits from the representation of an attorney and enjoys the attorney-client privilege and confidential communications with their attorney, but the attorney and the client are vested in a successful outcome. If for some reason the parties and their attorneys are unable to resolve their issues, then the parties must hire new attorneys to take the case to Court.
If you have questions about divorce, call or e-mail M&B Family Law & Mediation Services to schedule a consultation to discuss your divorce options: 321-951-3400. If you are considering a divorce, we’re here to help.
The collaborative divorce utilizes trained professionals that focus on the clients’ specific needs. These professionals may include a Mental Health professional that may be utilized as a child specialist or divorce coach. This specialist gives the children a voice in the process and provides the parents with assistance on post-dissolution of marriage parenting issues. As a divorce coach, this specialist assists the parties with their communication and their emotional needs, especially if one party is less desirous of a divorce than the other party and holding onto the marriage, and not endeavoring to move forward. In addition, a financial professional may be used to craft a fair distribution of assets to both parties that focus on maximizing financial security and opportunity for each party and the children for the years to come.
In a collaborative divorce, the process can take as little as 2 months to 6 months, while in a contested divorce the process usually takes 12 to 18 months. Collaborative divorces rarely return to Court after the litigation is complete, while contested divorces — which tend to fuel the fires of anger and resentment between the parties — often find themselves returning to the courtroom in the years following the divorce to modify the Orders they fought so hard to obtain. The collaborative law process recognizes that the family, even after the divorce, must continue to function for the benefit of the children and the collaborative process tries to bolster the parents’ post-dissolution relationship to foster and motivate them to provide the best agreement for the good of the parents and the children.
In the collaborative divorce, the financial savings to the divorcing couple are almost always extremely significant, even with the involvement of a financial professional. The result is a faster, cheaper and more productive route for dissolution of marriage action.
Our law firm encourages you to earnestly evaluate this process. If the collaborative process is right for you, M&B Family Law & Mediation Services will make every effort to assist you in obtaining your desired result.