In the state of Florida, a divorcing couple must participate in mediation. Perhaps this process has not been entirely successful for you and your spouse in that there are still some unresolved issues.

As a next step, collaboration could help the two of you iron out your disagreements and negotiate a satisfactory divorce settlement.

Learning about the process

Collaborative divorce is a type of alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, that allows you and your spouse to work out an agreement without having to appear in court. Each of you will rely on guidance from your respective collaborative divorce attorneys to address and resolve major sticking points such as child custody and timesharing, spousal support, and property division. You can also bring other professionals into the process, including accountants, social workers, therapists and child custody specialists, to help with your decision-making.

Reaping the benefits

Collaborative divorce is popular with divorcing couples of all income levels; no divorce is too complex for this process. It is an option that helps in several ways:

  • Provides voluntary exchange of information
  • Encourages agreement on legal procedures that reduce cost and accelerate the process
  • Uses a temporary agreement to stabilize a difficult situation
  • Negotiates a workable settlement
  • Develops a process for making post-divorce decisions

Looking ahead

Traditional divorce in court takes considerably more time than collaboration, and the judge will have more control over the outcome than you or your spouse. Collaborative divorce is also a private process, as opposed to litigation where you face public disclosure of your personal and financial information. In addition to using the process to build a workable divorce agreement, many couples appreciate that this form of ADR is less stressful for everyone concerned, especially children. As you approach the next phase of your life, collaboration sets the stage for respectful and productive post-divorce communications, especially in terms of the teamwork required in continuing to raise your family.