It could work better for privacy reasons if you do not have to bear a long drawn out court production, and you are in a financial situation where monetary matters and family matters would be best settled out of court.
A collaborative divorce is a situation where lawyers for both parties negotiate the case to reach a mutual decision in the best interests of each party they represent, instead of having a court battle. The lawyers agree that if they cannot reach a mutually beneficial agreement utilizing cooperative techniques instead of confrontational tactics, they will stop representing the parties. This agreement is written and signed by both parties and both lawyers.
Meetings are then scheduled with spouses, legal counsel, experts such as mental health specialists, financial managers, and child specialists to prepare a formal list of marital assets and then attach a value to them, and make recommendations on parenting problems regarding children’s custody, support and time-sharing. The lawyers have had special training on the process involved with a collaborative divorce, perhaps causing this type of divorce to be costly over a mediation situation. Costs are increased because there are two expensive lawyers involved versus one mediator, but if the settlement is expedited by the team effort, court time arguing the case is reduced and may balance out costs. If a successful agreement is out of reach in this situation, the two divorce lawyers will be disqualified from representing both parties. After this occurs, the parties will continue with divorce litigation proceedings in family court.
Difference Between Mediation and Collaborative Divorce.
Mediation and collaborative divorce are both meant to resolve differences between the couple to come to a quicker settlement. Differences between the two have to do with costs of the jointly hired experts versus a sole mediator that works between parties instead of each working for a separate party and bearing the costs associated with the list of professionals hired for the complete collaborative process.
Reasons for Collaborative Divorce.
- You have a problematic case due to a dishonest, uncooperative, aggressive spouse, but you both want to avoid litigation as it may cost more if you have a lot of marital assets, and feel you need control over them, and litigation is risky as to a balanced division.
- You want to make certain you have an advocate that is on your side and represents only your interests, not the interests of both parties as in mediation. Since you are individually represented your lawyer can give you advice throughout the whole proceeding.
- You want privacy for you and your children, if there is a case where children may be called to testify if the case went to litigation and you want to avoid that, collaborative divorce may be a better choice.
A collaborative divorce will focus on matters regarding:
Alimony – financial support to a divorced party from their former spouse, usually the main financial provider of the marriage, made under order of the court.
Child Support/Time-Sharing – financial support based on each parties’ income; child care and insurance costs for the dependents, and how many overnights each parent spends with the child. Child Support Guidelines Worksheets must be completed by both parties and attached to final agreement.
Distribution of Marital Assets/Liabilities – distributing the assets and liabilities between the parties to the divorce as directed by the court.
Finalization of the Marital Settlement Agreement – a formal agreement between the divorcing parties spelling out agreed upon terms regarding finances, dependent care, shared visitation, and expenses incurred over child support obligations for dependents.
Hire an Attorney.
If you are thinking about a collaborative divorce to move your case long, contact the Aikin Family Law Group to guide you through the process for a positive outcome as you move on with your life.
Aikin Family Law Group
2180 Park Avenue North
Winter Park, Florida 32789