When most people envision divorce, child visitation/time sharing, child support, or parental relocation issues, they believe that it is an inevitable warpath of destruction where emotions run high, fierce positions are taken and intimate details of their private lives are on public display before a Judge, stone-faced attorneys and onlookers. However, there is another, more humane, peaceful and private way to resolve sensitive matters of family law, without war. The Collaborative Family Law Process is an innovative and emerging family law model which enables couples to settle their disputes with dignity and with the guidance necessary to make informed decisions at their fingertips. It is called Collaborative Family Law and it is sweeping the nation.
What is it?
Through a series of planned meetings, you, the other party and a team of qualified professionals come to the table to negotiate the settlement of your family law matter without the fear or threat of litigation. As part of the process, each party retains their own, individual collaborative family law lawyer to advocate for him/her and assist them in making intelligent decisions throughout the process and to ensure that each party knows their individual rights. Further, dependent upon the needs of the family, other professionals in the process include but are not limited to, a neutral mental health professional and a neutral financial professional. Once assembled, the “Team” will identify the individual issues of your family law matter and schedule individual meetings to address each individual concern of the family, dependent also upon the family’s financial resources.
What are the benefits?
While many family law actions filed in Court can take years to resolve due to calendaring and court availability and other litigious actions, the collaborative family law process can take much less time dependent upon the commitment of the parties to resolving the family’s particular concerns and the issues at hand. Further, the process enables parties to resolve their matters without the intervention of a Judge who doesn’t know them at all, enabling the Parties the freedom to tailor their agreement to fit their individual needs and achieve results that Courts cannot otherwise order or do not typically order. For example, Parties who would like to call their children at bedtime while the children are with the other parent can agree to place a term like this in their settlement documents. Also, for pet-lovers, while pets are considered property in the State of Florida to be awarded to one party or the other in a divorce, a schedule can be carved out instead where both Parties can continue to enjoy time with their beloved pets. Of utmost importance, The Collaborative Family Law process enables parties to settle matters amicably without going to war in a public forum where their children may one day be able to access the public court docket and see the allegations that were flown to and from. For parents, this process helps to set the tone for future problem-solving as they transition into their new role as co-parents. While family matters are sensitive, Collaborative Family Law Professionals recognize this and the need for a divorce process with dignity. In the end, when a resolution is reached, the Parties will have a legally binding settlement and may have saved thousands of dollars had they not chosen the collaborative route.
What Kind of Family Law Matters Can Be Resolved Collaboratively?
Nearly anything, to include but not limited to, prenuptial agreements, divorce, paternity, parenting plans/child visitation/ child time-sharing, alimony, child support, parental relocation, etc.! Call today for your free, no obligation consultation and we would be glad to tell you all about the collaborative family law process.
See the following link for Cindy’s Collaborative Family Law story: