As of July 31, 2017, Florida’s collaborative law statute and collaborative law rules of procedure and ethics will be official.
Collaborative divorce is a process in which each party has their own specially trained collaborative attorney. The parties and their attorneys meet jointly and negotiate the resolution of issues in a divorce case with the assistance of a neutral financial professional and the assistance of a mental health facilitator (who is usually a mental health professional). Advantages of collaborative divorce are:
- Child centered. The best interests of the children are protected by all of the professionals and the parties;
- Cost effective. Using the collaborative process is much less expensive than the usual litigated divorce;
- Clients control the outcome. The participants determine the resolution and outcome by selecting from a series of options rather than having a stranger (a judge) to the family decide on one resolution for the family’s particular issues;
- The attorneys and neutral professionals have been trained to provide avenues where the parties create options to making decisions that work for the family in general rather than being bound into a win/lose scenario as is usually the case in litigated divorces;
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- Privacy and confidentiality. All information is kept confidential during the negotiations unlike court litigation like a litigated divorce where all information is available to the public and a matter of public record;
- The professionals have been trained and are required to model respectful and civil behavior during the process;
- More expeditious resolution. Most collaborative divorce cases are completed within four to six meetings and take much less time than a typical litigated divorce;
- Team oriented. Instead of relying solely upon a lawyer, the collaborative approach engages a professional team of attorneys and neutral professionals with expertise in financial, relationship, parenting and legal issues;
As of July 2017, the collaborative law statute, (Florida § 61.55-58) becomes effective. With the statute, the Florida legislature has officially approved collaborative divorce as a viable and appropriate option for individuals seeking divorce in the state of Florida.
The Florida Supreme Court recently has approved family law rule procedure as well as a rule of ethics regarding how the collaborative process should work and how attorneys should govern themselves while participating in a collaborative divorce case. With this formal recognition, collaborative divorce now becomes a recognized approved alternative to the traditional litigation divorce. To learn more about collaborative divorce, please visit our website and our YouTube channel.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. If you are involved in or contemplating a collaborative divorce, then immediately contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P. A. or call 561-478-0312 to schedule a consultation.