Collaborate divorce is a non-judicial process in which the parties have agreed to work together with the goal of resolution. With the assistance of two attorneys, a neutral financial professional, and a neutral mental health professional, the issues are addressed in a series of structured meetings so that all matters are addressed, clarified, and committed to written agreement.
What is the Collaborative Process?
The Collaborative Process uses informal discussions and conferences attended by both parties and their attorneys in an atmosphere of honesty, cooperation, integrity, transparency, and professionalism.
It requires that both parties, with the assistance of their attorneys, provide all pertinent documents and information relating to the issues to be settled, and that they work together toward a shared resolution.
Decision-making meetings of all members of the Team are scheduled with agendas in place and agreed agendas are followed.
Who is on the Team?
The Collaborative Team is a combination of specifically-trained individuals with whom the parties work to resolve their disputes. In addition to the respective attorneys who will provide advocacy for their clients, the Team includes a neutral financial expert and a neutral mental health professional.
The financial professional will assist in gathering and analyzing the necessary financial data to educate the parties about their
particular financial situation. The financial professional may meet with each party and each attorney in preparation for group sessions.
The mental health professional will guide the process and provide direction in addressing restructuring of the family. Elements pertaining to each specific party and the parenting plan can be addressed as assigned tasks.
What are the reasons to consider a Collaborative Divorce?
- Client Involvement: The clients are a vital part of the Team. The process shifts decision-making into their hands rather than into the hands of the judge.
- Supportive Approach: Each client is supported by an attorney in a manner that allows the attorneys to work together to resolve issues.
- Lower Cost: Court preparation and court time is not required. The clients together select one financial professional and one mental health professional to work in tandem with the Team throughout the process.
- Speed and Efficiency: The process is governed by the parties and their selected Team rather than by the court’s calendar.
- Less Stress: The fear and anxiety of court is taken out of the equation. The Team focuses on settlement without the emphasis on preparing for litigation.
- Win-Win Climate: This group collective process produces a more satisfactory outcome for both parties as they actively participate in all aspects of the decision-making process.
What Groups Support the Collaborative Process?
What is the Collaborative Law Process Act?
The Collaborative Law Process Act, Florida Statutes sections 61.55-61.58, effective on July 1, 2017, provides a statutory framework in Florida for collaborative resolution of family law matters in Florida.
The Florida legislature has stated that it is the policy of the state of Florida to encourage the peaceful resolution of marital dissolutions through a voluntary, non-adversarial, settlement process known as the collaborative law process. The goals of the collaborative process are to lessen the emotional and financial burdens of divorce and to preserve the working relationship between the parties.
The Collaborative Law Process Act may be accessed Here…
Where can I get additional information?
- 12th Judicial Circuit Court: Family Division
- The Florida Bar Association: Family Law Section
- IACP: International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
- AFCC: Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
- Florida Supreme Court: Family Division
- AAMl: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- The Florida Statues – Chapter 61 -Dissolution of Marriage; Support; Time-Sharing