Collaborative Divorce and Why it is a Good Alternative to Litigation
Not all divorces are contentious. If you and your partner are separating very amicably, a collaborative divorce may be a serious option to consider. In a collaborative divorce, the divorcing couple use reasonable, respectful, and civil negotiations to settle the issues in their divorce instead of battling them out in court. It’s still a fairly new model, but the Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell, P.A. has found that collaborative divorce has certain advantages over previous ways of resolving divorces.
Differences between Traditional Divorce and Collaborative Divorces
In the past, in a traditional divorce, the divorcing couple each hired lawyers to argue the issues dispute in front of a judge in court. This can be emotionally and financially devastating. It also takes time and often damages future relationships. Since approximately 2000, Sarasota County and Manatee County family courts started promoting mediation more. Today, it is required at least once in your divorce and is also often required again before you can have a non-emergency hearing(s) on big motions. So, the traditional divorce today in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice, FL normally involves 2-3 mediations before trial and also generally no big hearing before the 1st mediation. Other divorce options like do it yourself or pro se mediation with one mediator who is a lawyer work for some couples. But often the legalities involved in a divorce still require the assistance of a knowledgeable divorce lawyer at some point.
What is a collaborative divorce?
In a collaborative divorce, the couple works with their respective lawyers, a neutral accountant, and a neutral mental health professional to reach the best alternatives for their future as a formerly married couple. The divorcing couple agrees from the beginning in writing that they will not go to court, but instead work together to negotiate the divorce honestly and respectfully through the divorce process.
How is collaborative divorce different from mediation?
In a divorce mediation each party hires a law attorney to represent them and protect their own legal interests. The two attorneys then pick and agree to a third attorney to serve as the mediator. The parties, both attorneys, and the mediator attend the mediation which normally occurs in at one of the two divorce attorneys’ offices and is conducted in two separate conference rooms. The mediation normally last at least 8 hours. In a collaborative divorce, the two spouses, their respective lawyers, a neutral financial professional, and a neutral mental health provider meet several times all in one conference room for 2 – 3 hours for each team meeting. Normally, there are at least 4 team meetings before the divorce is settled. At these team meetings, an agenda is provided in advance to all divorce team members. The only issues discussed, negotiated, and resolved at these team meeting are issues listed in the team meeting agenda so there are no surprises, so everyone can be fully prepared, and so there is transparency in the divorce process.
Why Should You Do Collaborative Divorce if You Have Minor Children?
In their book, “The Collaborative Way to Divorce: The Revolutionary Method That Results in Less Stress, Lower Costs, and Happier Kids–Without Going to Court”, authors Stuart G. Webb, and Ronald D. Ousky argue that the collaborative divorce process is a good way to protect children from the contention and rage that often accompanies traditional divorces.
Hiring a Sarasota County and Manatee County Collaborative Divorce Attorney
Hiring a divorce lawyer is intimidating. If you are considering a collaborative divorce in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, or Venice, Florida as an alternative to a traditional divorce, make sure you find a local lawyer like Attorney Matthew Martell who has been certified formally for being trained for collaborative divorces and also has actual experienced in this unique alternative dispute resolution divorce process.
Involving a knowledgeable and experienced collaborative divorce lawyer like Sarasota County and Manatee County Divorce Attorney Matthew Z. Martell gives you the resources needed to consider the full range of legal and non-legal possibilities involved in a divorce. He will civilly and respectfully negotiate with the other side until we are able to reach the best solution for your particular divorce.
How a Sarasota and Bradenton Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Can Help
Although you may be able to do parts of the divorce negotiations yourself, the legal details can be complicated and tedious. A skilled divorce attorney like Matthew Z. Martell can make sure that you have covered all the bases in your Marital Settlement Agreement with required attached Parenting Plan if you have minor children.
Removing the contention and hostility that often accompanies divorce proceedings in a courtroom is a wise decision. Collaborative divorces are a still a relatively new idea, so it is a good idea to take time to research your options. The Sarasota County Library System has Pauline H. Tesler, and Peggy Thompson’s book called “Collaborative Divorce: The Revolutionary New Way to Restructure your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move on With Your Life” which may be informative for you. If you live in Bradenton, the Manatee Public Library System has the following book: “Divorce Without Court : A Guide to Mediation & Collaborative Divorce by Author Katherine E. Stoner which also may be helpful. Both books are excellent resources that you can use to decide how to proceed with your divorce and whether you should choose a collaborative divorce over a traditional divorce.
We also can answer your divorce questions if you are serious about hiring an attorney in the near future for the collaborative divorce process. Call the Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell, P.A. at (941) 556-7020 and ask for a Phone Consultation to discuss hiring a Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, Florida collaborative divorce attorney Matthew Z. Martell, Esq. He is formally trained and certified in collaborative divorces and experienced in conducting divorces in Sarasota County and Manatee County.