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Tampa Family Lawyer > Blog > Family > How Does A Collaborative Divorce Work In Florida?

How Does A Collaborative Divorce Work In Florida?


There are some divorces where everything can be solved in mediation or even between two spouses without the aid of an attorney. However, in many cases, resolving your disputes won’t come so quickly or simply. Traditionally, such divorces would end up before a judge in litigation. Litigated divorces are costly, time-consuming, and a matter of public record. There is another option for couples who want to avoid litigation: collaborative divorce. In this article, the Tampa family lawyers at Faulkner Law Group, PLLC will discuss how collaborative divorce works in Florida.

What is collaborative divorce? 

For Tampa couples who want to avoid a costly and contentious divorce battle, yet do not want to negotiate on their own through divorce mediation, collaborative divorce affords them a third alternative that splits the difference between litigation and mediation. Using the collaborative divorce model, each spouse is represented by an attorney who will negotiate the terms of the divorce on their behalf. With their attorneys, the couple agrees to work together to resolve financial and parenting issues using collaborative strategies rather than the adversarial tactics used in litigation. Collaborative divorce affords you the ability to resolve differences with minimal conflict and without court involvement.

Why choose collaborative divorce over mediation? 

In a mediated divorce, the participants negotiate on their own behalf with a neutral mediator helping them guide their discussions. For a number of reasons, some participants may not be comfortable negotiating on their own behalf. In some cases, there may be an imbalance in power between the two spouses. In other cases, a divorcing spouse may not trust themselves to speak on their own behalf during an emotional and volatile divorce. In a collaborative divorce, the lawyers will take the lead in negotiations.

How does collaborative divorce work? 

First, the couple signs an agreement with their respective attorneys to commit to the collaborative process and not threaten litigation. The agreement stipulates that the lawyers representing their clients will not represent them if the collaborative process breaks down. The parties with their attorneys will work together on a settlement, also called a divorce decree, which will be presented to the court at the end of negotiations. Attorneys do not act as neutral third parties in a collaborative divorce, but rather represent the interests of their client. The attorney’s role is to advise their client on the strengths and weaknesses of their various claims and assess the likely outcome if the case were to be litigated. During the collaborative process, the couple will resolve all issues related to child support, custody and parenting plans, spousal support, and the equitable distribution of the marital estate. In many cases, neutral third parties are contracted to help the couple with issues related to their finances and the children.

Talk to a Tampa Collaborative Divorce Attorney Today 

If you are interested in pursuing a collaborative divorce in Tampa, FL, call the collaborative divorce lawyers at Faulkner Law Group, PLLC today to schedule an appointment and learn more about our services.

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