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Frequently Asked Questions About Collaborative Divorce in Florida


No one wants an ugly divorce, but filing a petition in court that contains demands that you want your spouse to satisfy and then speaking to each other in a calm tone of voice and calling it amicable is like putting lipstick on a pig.  You are still threatening your spouse with a legal ruling if your spouse does not come up with a settlement offer, which is what a response to a divorce petition is, once you remove all the euphemistic language.  There is nothing pretty about asking the court to dissolve your marriage and then meeting with your spouse during mediation to work out the details.  Forgoing professional legal representation is not a solution to this problem, because you and your spouse, regardless of how amicable or adversarial your behavior toward each other is, will inevitably make legal errors that will cost a lot of money and lead to resentment.  A better solution is collaborative divorce, where the court does not get involved until the end.  To find out more about collaborative divorce, contact a Boca Raton divorce lawyer.

Why Do People Choose Collaborative Divorce?

People choose collaborative divorce because it is usually less emotionally and financially painful than conventional divorce.  The spouses and their lawyers negotiate together outside of court, and only when they have finished the property division settlement and the parenting plan do they submit the paperwork to the court.  The judge’s only role is to sign off on the documents and finalize the divorce.  More than three quarters of collaborative divorce cases finish in less than six months.  Collaborative divorce also offers more privacy; in divorce litigation, any details about your finances, health, and interpersonal relationships become a matter of public record.

Do You Need a Lawyer for Collaborative Divorce?

You have the right to represent yourself in a divorce case, but collaborative divorce works best when there are four parties to the collaborative divorce agreement, namely the two spouses and a lawyer representing each spouse.  During the proceedings, your lawyers may also seek the advice of other professionals, such as retirement planners and child psychologists, to help them work out property issues and draft a parenting plan that is beneficial to the whole family.

What Happens If Collaborative Divorce Doesn’t Work?

When you sign a collaborative divorce agreement with a lawyer, that lawyer can only represent you in collaborative divorce.  In about 15 percent of collaborative divorce cases, the parties reach an impasse and realize that they need to get a contested divorce instead.  Therefore, they must terminate the collaborative divorce agreement and hire different lawyers.  The same lawyer who represented you in collaborative divorce negotiations cannot represent you in divorce mediation or litigation.

Contact Schwartz | White About Collaborative Divorce

A South Florida family law attorney can help you avoid the stress and conflict of divorce litigation by seeking alternative paths to divorce.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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