The Pros and Cons of Collaborative Divorce and Mediation
Collaborative divorce and mediation can help prevent a contentious court battle between two people who agree on ending their marriage, but still require assistance with the details and finalizing all of the documents. It can also save money for a couple going through a divorce. But what if one of you agrees to a collaborative divorce or mediation prior to filing for divorce, and the other is wary of going this route instead of litigation?
How Can I Learn About Collaborative Divorce and Mediation?
There are several options for where you can obtain information about collaborative divorce and mediation in Florida to help explain the process to your spouse. You can do so by:
- Visiting our website;
- Perusing a list of publications recommended by the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida and others from the Collaborative Family Law Institute; and
- Looking to see if there is a local collaborative divorce group in your county.
It is also important to note, for your spouse, that the process still involves attorneys, and your interests are still protected by way of your attorney. It simply also involves the assistance of third-party professionals (such as psychologists, accountants, financial experts, etc., as needed) to help a couple come to a settlement that best serves their needs for their particular situation, including child custody, if need be.
What Is Involved?
Typically, couples will initiate the process by assembling disclosure statements. This allows each side to share similar facts to what would be revealed in court through discovery and is similar to an affidavit.
Both collaborative divorce and mediation can help spare the costs of going to court and paying for discovery, hearings, motions, etc. Another benefit is that it can be used to address other family law issues (in addition to divorce), such as child custody or timesharing, alimony, property division, etc., again with both parties in control instead of a judge. It can also ensure that the process is more private and moves along more quickly than using the courts.
However, it is important to note that, with collaborative divorce, although both sides retain attorneys, they also agree to resolve issues without use of the courts.
When Is It Not A Good Idea?
In circumstances where there is any evidence of domestic and/or child abuse, or any other safety issue that could affect collaboration, it may be wise to turn to the courts in order to ensure that you are protected by seeking any emergency orders that may be necessary.
Many Florida families have discovered the benefits of resolving family law issues through mediation and/or the collaborative process. To see if this is a good option for you, contact Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. to schedule a consultation.