Top 5 Reasons to Choose Collaborative Divorce

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3.  Efficiency

Ninety percent or more of all divorce cases end up settling, whether before filing a petition for dissolution of their marriage or after the parties have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and many years going through trial but right before a judge hands down a decision.  And even though the vast majority of divorces settle, the vast majority of the cost is associated with preparing for trial, conducting opposition research, engaging in depositions and other discovery techniques, and preparing for and attending hearing after hearing before a final trial.

In collaborative divorce, the attorneys are absolutely barred from engaging in any contested court proceeding, and they focus all of their energy, time, and resources helping the parties reach an agreement.  In the unlikely event that the spouses cannot reach an agreement (similar to all other divorces, collaborative divorce has a settlement rate of around 90%), the collaborative attorneys withdraw and the spouses can engage trial counsel.

The efficiency and cost savings created by the sole focus on out-of-court dispute resolution is cited by many middle class families as the reason they choose collaborative divorce.

4.  Interdisciplinary

In the collaborative process, there is a recognition that divorce is not just a legal process; it is also an emotional and financial process.  That is why most collaborative cases involve a neutral facilitator, who usually has a mental health license, and a neutral financial professional.

The neutral facilitator helps clients cut through the clutter of emotionally-charged issues and focus on what is most important to them (such as their children) rather than focus on rigid positions.  The neutral financial professional can help enlarge the pie (by, for example, figuring out the most tax advantageous options for the clients) and help ensure there is financial transparency in discussions.

The interdisciplinary nature of collaborative practice is most important for those going through an emotionally-charged divorce or those concerned about the financial aspects of a divorce agreement.

5.  Creativity

When a judge makes a ruling, he or she is bound to rule within certain parameters of the law.  In collaborative divorce, on the other hand, the parties may agree to virtually anything so long as it does not violate the public policy of Florida.

Spouses who want a pet custody schedule or a parenting plan that includes grandparent visitation – end results that a judge simply could not order – and anyone who wants a family-tailored result rather than a court-imposed rigid fiat are best served by the creativity of collaborative divorce.

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Divorce is difficult, but not all divorces are created equally.  Here in Tampa Bay and Greater Sarasota, more and more people are choosing to resolve their family law issues via the collaborative process.  Collaborative divorce is a method of dispute resolution where the spouses agree from the beginning that they are each going to retain attorneys who will work as settlement specialists and who will not engage in court battles.

Here are the top 5 reasons any Florida couple considering a split should choose collaborative divorce:

1.  Privacy

Rather than have their dirty laundry aired in a public courthouse, spouses going through a collaborative divorce resolve all issues through privileged and confidential discussions in a private conference room.

This can be especially important for business-owners, professionals, and high-profile Florida residents who are concerned about the public release of either financial details or embarrassing personal shortcomings.

2.  Respect

By its very nature…

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Divorce Corp

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Child Support Supports The State - 2015Child support is nearly impossible to have decreased over time by the courts, even if the ex-spouse’s financial situation has changed. Inability to pay can even land you in jail.Child Support Unfairness - 2015Where'd my Daddy Go - 2015With so much that can be gained by claiming abuse, family court is a hotbed of false accusations. The accuser often faces no little-to-no punishment, even if these claims are completely false.Child abuser in Black Robe - DivorceCorp - 2016With hourly fees being the industry norm within family courts, attorneys have little-to-no incentive to wrap up a case until their client is out of money. These ever escalating costs can often drive people into severe debt.
fam22Alimony, the means by which the courts balance the income of spouses after marriage, can often last far longer than the marriage itself, sometimes even for life. Failure to pay alimony can even result in incarceration.the mafiaDivorce paperwork can be one of the most challenging aspects of the family court system. However, trying to decipher, and manage boxes upon boxes of legal jargon is only the beginning.More BILLIONS into Family Law after approving same-sex marriages - 2015

Unlike in most court cases, family courts have no jury. This leaves the outcome of each case completely at the discretion of the judge, thereby subverting our basic civil liberties.

Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center 175 NW First Avenue Miami, Florida 33128

Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center 175 NW First Avenue Miami, Florida 33128

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I recently watched the documentary (if you can call it that) Divorce Corp narrated by Dr. Drew.  I was genuinely interested in watching it, as I read some very positive reviews and the trailers seemed great.  After about fifteen minutes into the film, though, I began to see it was an attack on the courts and the legal system backed by stories of either extreme cases or missing key facts.  I’m not going to go through every issue I had with the film in this entry as they are far too numerous.  I wanted, however, to address one part.

About ten minutes into the film, the narrator speaks about attorneys “sizing you up” by collecting detailed financial information from you concerning all of your assets and liabilities.  While there are attorneys out there who may use this information to determine if they want to take you as a client, this…

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