When beginning your divorce process, it's important to know that you have options beyond just a traditional divorce.
One of those options is a Collaborative Divorce, which by many accounts, can make the divorce process faster, easier, and can also save couples a great deal of money. As with a traditional divorce, the process starts with each party hiring their own attorney to represent him or her. However, in a Collaborative Divorce, the focus is on reaching fair and equitable outcomes with as little collateral damage as possible. This means that there is a commitment by the parties and their respective attorneys to stay out of court. The process requires both parties to work together towards an agreement, avoiding a lot of the typical aggravation that comes with getting divorced, which can be emotionally draining, costly, and stressful. Of course, it's important that both parties agree with this approach for the process to work effectively.
The objective in choosing a Collaborative Divorce over a traditional divorce is so that both parties can eliminate uncertainty by taking what ore often complicated and delicate issues out of a judge's hands, and letting the parties control their own destinies. The idea behind Collaborative Divorce is nothing new - in the late 80's, attorneys started to explore a collaborative approach as a way to circumnavigate the trickier parts of divorce disputes.
Florida recently passed its own version of the Uniform Collaborative Law Act in 2016. It created a statutory privilege that makes communications confidential during the collaborative process and formalizes a process that was already being widely used.
A Collaborative Divorce has many benefits which include:
- Informal atmosphere - the parties can come together without the formality of a court room adding extra pressure to an already emotional situation.
- There can be a good deal of potential cost savings that would otherwise not be available by other forms of divorce settlement.
- In cases with complex financial issues, or where there are children's issues that must be resolved, a financial professional and/or a mental health professional are involved from the very beginning, making sure that any such issues are addressed quickly and efficiently, and helping ensure that the process remains productive and continues moving forward.
- In a more traditional divorce there is often the concern that the other side will hide information in order to get some kind of competitive advantage, but a Collaborative Divorce aides and incentivizes the two parties to be upfront, honest, and open with each other from the start until the final resolution.
- Collaborate Divorces also provide for the way that post-settlement issues are handled in the future by setting the stage for the parties to work together in a civil and cooperative manner to reach an agreement that works for their particular situation, rather than strictly following the rigidity of the law.
Currently, this process is not widely used because most attorneys do not have much experience or training to maintain civility within a scenario which requires two emotional parties to discuss what will happen to their money, possessions, and time with the children. There are even demonstrated cases where a Collaborative Divorce process is followed for months, and due to the inherit difficulties that come with the process, a resolution that benefits both parties can't be reached, and the process becomes litigated. Although, cases can break down in the Collaborative Process and move forward with litigation, this happens very infrequently.
Thankfully, because of Vilar Law's 24 years of experience handling Family and Divorce Law, the typical issues that come with a Collaborative Divorce can be resolved with care, dedication and integrity. Vilar Law is specially trained in Collaborative Family Law and has seen cases varying from the simplest to the most complex, which means when approaching your divorce, Vilar Law will be able to not only determine if a Collaborative Divorce is the best option, but if it is, Vilar Law's expertise will guide their clients to an agreement that benefits everyone involved.
To determine if a Collaborative Divorce is your best option, please contact Vilar Law at (305) 373-8000. Some pieces of information you should have readily available are: tax statements, pay stubs, bank and credit card statements, business information, and anything pertaining to your children.
This is probably your first time dealing with these important issues, but it certainly is not ours...