In A Rapidly-Changing Environment, Collaborative Process Offers Unique Benefits
Collaborative law – defined in Florida as “a unique non adversarial process that preserves a working relationship between the parties and reduces the emotional and financial toll of litigation” – is becoming increasingly popular during COVID-19, especially with a number of courts shut down, leading to an environment where attorneys who work in family law are emphasizing conflict resolution advocacy and a settlement-oriented approach without litigation more and more each day. Judges also favor collaborative law, and states like Florida declare it to be public policy to encourage the “peaceful” and “early” resolution of disputes and any pending litigation through a voluntary settlement process. Many see it as a means of protecting families from adversarial divorce proceedings by relying on attorneys’ problem-solving skills, and, to date, there has not been a single reported case of malpractice related to collaborative law.
When it comes to divorce, the collaborative process offers a number of unique benefits, which we discuss in greater detail below:
Unlike in litigation, information related to one’s divorce is not open to public scrutiny in collaborative divorce. Instead, the process is done in a confidential, private, and privileged manner, and in a private meeting instead of in a hearing in front of a judge.
Documents and information are voluntarily exchanged by both sides in collaborative divorce.
Thinking Outside the Box
Collaborative divorce allows for a couple to come to a settlement that meets their needs as opposed to being confined by what the law dictates.
Specialists Offer Their Expertise
While each party is represented by their own attorney, who acts as an advocate (as opposed to being neutral, which is the case in mediation), other specialists are also involved in the process to offer their expertise; for example, child specialists to assist in any issues that arise with respect to the interests of the child, a mental health professional to act as the facilitator, financial professionals to assist with questions that arise with respect to assets and accounts, etc. In sum, these specialists become “adult coaches” for each client, depending upon one’s needs.
The Power to Go in A Different Direction
Either side can terminate the process at any time and instead enter into litigation, although they will have to find new legal representation for that next stage.
A High Success Rate
Still, deciding to terminate the process is rare here in Florida. A significant percentage of those who enter collaboration end up with a full settlement agreement.
Contact Our Orlando, Florida Family Law Attorneys to Find Out More
At the Arwani Law Firm, our family law practice covers a full range of issues, and we have helped a number of Florida families get through divorce with their emotional and financial resources well protected. Contact our Orlando family lawyers today for a free phone consultation to find out more about our services and how we can help.