Collaborative Divorce

Orlando Attorneys for Collaborative Divorce Cases

No two divorces are the same and so it only makes sense that there are different ways to handle divorce.  In the State of Florida the vast majority of divorces are handled through the litigation model, wherein the parties secure attorneys who then, through the Rules of Civil Procedure, engage in information collection in preparation for trial with the parties usually hoping that they may ultimately be able to reach a compromise to avoid the expense of trial.

While the attorneys at The Smith Family Law Firm are experienced with and very comfortable with the litigation model, they have always believed that the more options available for clients and prospective clients the better.

The attorneys at The Smith Family Law Firm were among the first group of attorneys in the Central Florida area to undergo training for Collaborative Family Law.  In this process, the parties each secure their own attorney (trained in the collaborative process).  The two collaborative attorneys then select one financial expert and one process facilitator (usually a mental health professional) to complete the collaborative “team.”  Through a series of meetings the parties, who are aided by the advise of counsel, work on a very personalized solution for their particular facts.  The process facilitator acts as a guide for the parties and helps to keep the team on track and broad-goal oriented.  The financial expert secures financial information and then provides options to deal with the parties’ particular financial situations and needs.

The parties are in full control of the decision they ultimately reach and have the opportunity to keep sensitive information out of the public court system.  However, if either party decides to leave the collaborative process, all attorneys and experts must withdraw and cannot be utilized in the litigated divorce.  While this aspect is definitely the portion most questioned by everyone involved, it is meant to protect the process and the parties.

While collaborative divorce is not for everyone, it can, depending on the case, result in less fees and costs (even though there are 4 professionals involved), a speedier result, and a sense of more control in the resolution.  While no divorce is stress free, we, at The Smith Family Law Firm, often refer to the collaborative model as a “Less Stress Divorce.”

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