Collaborative divorce is often touted as the kinder, gentler, and cheaper solution for getting a divorce. Have you considered, however, that, while this may be true for some separating couples, it may not be true for all couples? Courts can provide an objective judge and an established framework for dissolving all kinds of partnerships, from businesses to families.
The process for collaborative divorce requires that the attorneys for both parties agree to withdraw from the case if it goes to litigation. This means that your attorney has less opportunity to investigate whether the opposing party is telling the truth. If your soon-to-be-ex-spouse (or his or her attorney) is a bully, a cheater, a “high conflict” individual, or a liar, the collaborative process does not provide an opportunity to contest facts that might be misrepresented or omitted. Additionally, if your divorce does go to court, you will need to hire a new attorney and start over, which can be a very expensive prospect, indeed.
Ultimately, couples get divorced because they have problems that they cannot solve. Sometimes not even a skilled mediator and competent attorneys are sufficient to help people work out their issues, particularly where the issues involve communication style, personalities, values, and hurt feelings. Whether you choose a traditional dissolution path or a collaborative divorce process, it will be an emotional and stressful process. It is important to consider whether you have the resources to address the emotional stress on you, and still work transparently with the opposing party.
The traditional divorce process, in comparison, can also be peaceful and straight-forward. Parties are always free to draw up their own out-of-court agreements and file uncontested divorces, without a prior commitment to the collaborative process. All of the tools available in the collaborative divorce process are also available in a traditional process, the only difference is whether the parties have to sign an agreement to avoid court by forcing attorneys to withdraw if an agreement cannot be reached.
If you are considering divorce, our office is here to help. Together, we have over 40 years of trusted experience, right here in Florida, and nationwide. Contact us on our website or by calling us at 850-386-2171 today.