The breakup of a family unit is difficult for everyone and especially the children of a divorcing couple.
As compared with litigation, which can spark anger and bitterness, collaborative divorce allows families to move forward in a positive manner.
What it is
The Collaborative Law Process Act (CLPA) became effective in Florida on July 1, 2017. The Collaborative Process, an alternative to litigation in court, focuses on resolving a married couple’s differences in a respectful manner and developing a voluntary divorce settlement agreement.
Why it works
Collaborative divorce is a private process unlike a court proceeding where the information exchanged becomes public record. The divorcing parties work with their own specially trained attorneys. They set the pace and control the outcome of the process rather than having to submit to the decisions of a judge. Collaborative divorce can be substantially less costly than litigation and usually takes less time. The process features a team approach to divorce in that professionals can join in to answer questions and help the couple work toward their settlement agreement. The professionals might include a CPA, a financial adviser and a mental health expert who can advise on matters concerning the children of the marriage. If, however, the parties cannot reach a settlement, they are still free to hire new attorneys and pursue litigation.
Who it helps
Children do not respond well to the tension between their parents and the acrimonious tone of a divorce in court. The more peaceful atmosphere surrounding the Collaborative Process is much less stressful for children. The divorcing parents use their communication and negotiation skills to help form the foundation for a new post-divorce family structure.