“Peaceful” Divorce Proceedings?
Knowing what options you have if you are contemplating divorce (or if you are in the midst of filing for divorce) can be extremely helpful, especially if you share children with your soon-to-be ex, and you want the process to go as smoothly and pain-free as possible. In that vein, below are descriptions of some of the many options out there, and what they entail.
You may have heard about websites that allow you to handle your own divorce, or phone “apps” that provide a similar service. However, it is important to note that these options need to be approached with caution. Because divorces tend to be so specific to the couple, their assets, their circumstances, etc., a one-size-fits-all approach can be dangerous. For example, for some couples, perhaps all of their retirement benefits have been accrued in the form of one person’s 401(k), but now that divorce is on the table, the spouse who has this 401(k) is now claiming that all of the funds in the account belong to them. This is an example of where things get tricky, and where you will need to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that you (and your future, your family, etc.) are fully protected to the extent allotted under the law. Remember, a marriage that has lasted only a few years, with no children, and no real assets, is going to be different than one for a couple who has been together for a long time, has children together, shares assets, homes, debts, etc. The same goes for marriages that have a prenuptial agreement versus those that do not.
Mediation is gaining in popularity amongst couples (in conjunction with collaborative divorces, described in more detail below). Couples who want to ensure that all of the details associated with their divorce remain private often pursue this option. However, while meditation does involve a professional mediator who is not an attorney, it is still crucial that each party consult their own individual attorneys to ensure that they have assistance throughout the process, are aware of their rights, and so that a legal professional can help look over any agreements before they are signed. The mediator is not supposed to have either party’s best interest at heart, so you need to ensure that someone (ideally, someone very familiar with state divorce laws) is looking out for you.
In collaborative divorce, each party’s attorneys—ideally those who specifically work within the field of collaborative divorce—negotiate a settlement outside of the courtroom. What is also interesting (and different) about this process is, in the course of coming up with a settlement, the parties also work with other specialists such as financial advisors, psychologists, etc. to better inform their choices and ensure that the process goes smoothly.
Litigation has traditionally been the tool used by couples who cannot reach an agreement about basic terms of the marriage, such as child custody, property division, spousal support, etc.
Divorce Attorney Serving Fort Lauderdale & Surrounding Areas
At the office of Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, we can help you explore all of your options and choose the one that makes the most sense for your life and moving forward with it. Contact us today so that we can get started.