In some cases, ending a marriage is an agreed upon outcome for both spouses. When the parties in a disintegrating marriage agree to pursue settlement of their issues, a contested divorce proceeding is not always necessary or desirable. Divorce litigation can be financially and emotionally costly, and the final result might not meet your needs or those of your family.
Collaborative divorce in Palm Beach County offers an alternative, and often less expensive, method for marriage dissolution. In the collaborative approach, parties and their family divorce attorneys agree to settle matters involving division of assets and debt, alimony, child support timesharing, child custody and visitation rights), and others through a series of private confidential meetings instead of through litigation. A West Palm Beach collaborative divorce lawyer, who is educated, trained, and experienced in this form of alternative dispute resolution, could help you achieve a result that benefits you and your family.
What is Collaborative Law?
Florida’s Collaborative Law Process Act encourages attorneys and families to use non-adverserial resolution methods in family law matters. In a collaborative divorce, the spouses and their attorneys meet privately to negotiate during a series of confidential meetings the terms of their divorce. Rather than threatening each other with litigation, the couple focuses on exploring options that best meet their need an the need of their children and and reaching agreements on those issues . If they have children, they commit to putting their children’s needs above any other consideration.
The collaborative divorce process could also involve child psychologists, accountants, financial advisors, and any other professional who can meaningfully contribute to the parties option building and negotiations. With the help of these neutral objective professionals, the parties can avoid adversarial tactics and concentrate on achieving the best possible outcome for their family.
How Collaborative Divorce Proceeds in Palm Beach County
The collaborative law process generally proceeds on a step-by-step basis, beginning with hiring of a divorce attorney who is educated, trained and experienced in collaborative divorce . Each party in a collaborative dissolution should retain their own legal representation. Both parties and their attorneys must sign a Participation Agreement committing to a collaborative approach and confirming that their lawyers will not represent them if the case goes to court. Everyone involved has to commit to a fair exchange of information and honest and respectful negotiations.
The attorneys and both parties will meet to discuss a divorce settlement at mutually agreeable times and places. The parties determine whether they would benefit from working with neutral professionals such as child therapists or financial advisors. The discussions and information exchanged in these meetings are confidential and follow an agreed upon agenda of the issues
Finalizing the Divorce
If a settlement occurs, the attorneys and the parties will work together to draft and file the necessary documents, including the parties’ agreement, the divorce complaint, and a final divorce decree.
The Benefits of a Collaborative Marital Dissolution
The collaborative process can provide many benefits for divorcing spouses and their families. The advantages of a collaborative divorce include:
- A better opportunity to maintain a civil relationship after the divorce
- More control over the outcome
- Private information is not shared in a public courtroom
- Often a quicker and less expensive divorce
- Children are kept out of the courtroom and out of the conflict
- Parties can consider creative settlement options not offered by the legal system
- Meetings can be scheduled at the parties’ convenience rather than pursuant to court-mandated schedules
A qualified legal professional in Palm Beach County could fully explain these factors and other positive benefits of the collaborative divorce process.
The Role of the Collaborative Divorce Lawyer
Rather than representing a client in adversarial court proceedings, a collaborative divorce lawyer’s job is to assist his or her client in proposing options that meet the parties’ and their children needs, negotiating resolutions that meet the needs of the parties and their children, and assist in actively participating in their collaborative process Unlike a litigated divorce, the attorney will not negotiate with the other lawyer outside of the private confidential meeting . Although the attorney will still zealously advocate for their client, they focus more on problem-solving strategies. Instead of presenting the client’s case in pleadings and before a judge, the attorney keeps the discussions confidential and maintains the client’s privacy at all stages of the process.
Work with a Palm Beach County Collaborative Law Attorney
If you want to avoid a lengthy and costly court battle, you should consider pursuing a collaborative divorce as a form of alternative dispute resolution. The collaborative divorce process can provide a civil, cost-effective, and confidential settlement of your divorce.
Charles D. Jamieson has successfully helped clients through the collaborative divorce process. Often, solving problems and reaching resolution through collaboration is more satisfying for both parties. Clients often report a sense of empowerment and control, which is not as attainable when matters are left for courts to decide.
If you are interested in goal-oriented negotiations and conflict resolution, our firms’ lawyers have extensive experience in collaborative divorce cases and have met strict training requirements. Mr. Jamieson’s family law office is well known for our expert divorce attorneys in West Palm Beach and throughout the state of Florida. A West Palm Beach collaborative divorce lawyer could work to ensure the respectful and confidential management of your case and protect your interests throughout the process. Call today to learn more.