You may have some issues wrestling with the fact that you are going through the divorce process. How did I get here? What led to this? Will I maintain my possessions? What happens when the smoke settles? Will my life be the same?
While you may never be able to get the clear understanding of many of these types of questions, you can take an active approach in making this experience less painful than it needs to be by utilizing the collaborative divorce process.
The collaborative divorce process is an alternative method to resolving a divorce that focuses on avoiding family court. It requires maintaining a civil and cooperative relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, which is something that you may not have. This is why it is not always a pursued legal avenue during the divorce process.
In order to go through this process, you will need to retain separate specialized collaborative law attorneys who can help navigate you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse through this experience.
During this time, it is important to trust in the attorney that you hire and understand the process. Both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse need to maintain an open mind and a cooperative attitude, in order for the collaborative divorce process to function.
The collaborative process of divorce attempts to remove the conflict from the divorce dynamics, in order to avoid the court process. Because it requires the cooperation of both sides, it stands to reason that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are interested in the same outcome and are willing to work with one another to move forward with your respective lives.
Collaborative divorce protects anonymity and is generally confidential. Additionally, it creates the possibility of a mutually acceptable settlement, and given the cooperation and communication necessary to facilitate this process, it can be beneficial when children are involved.
With children being caught in the crossfire of the divorce process, it may be difficult for you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse to see the importance of the other’s role in their lives. However, through utilizing the collaborative divorce process, you are forced to come together for the common good.
This process focuses on the solution to each issue, as opposed to what someone feels entitled to, whether that be better custodial rights of the children, child support, or alimony.
Collaborative divorce also allows you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to save money. If you are able to come together for the sake of your shared children and the need to preserve as much of your finances as possible, you should be able to communicate with one another, in order to resolve issues and come to agreements outside of court.
That way, when you begin the collaborative process, the legwork of who gets what is not as significant of an issue. Being able to civilly communicate with one another outside of court will drastically lower your attorney fees, and your attorneys will not have to do the necessary preparation that a trial entails.
It also gives you more control over the outcome of the case. Family law trials can be a gamble, because you never know whether or not a judge will rule in your favor, especially if you are a man facing divorce. With the outdated gender stereotypes that pervade the family court system, it is better to communicate and resolve issues, like the division of assets and property outside of the confines of the system.
That said, it is important that any agreement made is put into writing. You cannot go back into litigation relying on the word of a soon-to-be ex-spouse, who is an active participant in ending the marriage. They are looking out for themselves, as you should be.
The benefits of the collaborative divorce process make it an attractive avenue, so much so that it is gaining popularity. In fact, the state of Florida has instituted the Collaborative Law Process Act, in order to create a uniform system for the collaborative process.
The law institutes the nonadversarial process and puts state regulations into play, which have existed on a voluntary basis outside of the legislation for a long time. Florida is the 15th to adopt a version of this law.
Preserving what you have earned your entire life is admirable, and just as you wish to maintain possessions, so does your soon-to-be ex-spouse. A collaborative divorce will allow you to keep the costs low and hold onto what you value most, so that way, you are not starting from scratch after the decree is finalized.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.
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