The Collaborative Law Process Act was finally passed by the Florida Legislature and took effect on July 1, 2016. Those of us who practice family law know that a peaceful and amicable resolution to a divorce is always best for any family. The “Collaborative Process” as it is called, is a goal oriented, non-adversarial process that preserves the working relationship between the parties. It also reduces the emotional and financial toll divorce litigation creates. So, why is Collaborative Divorce better?
- YOU DON’T GO TO COURT – Collaborative Law is very different from divorce litigation. That is because you DO NOT GO TO COURT! That is right. You and your spouse agree to enter into a Collaborative Participation Agreement either before or after filing for divorce, where you agree to suspend litigation and try to use the collaborative process to resolve your differences. Once you enter into this agreement, the attorneys involved are prohibited to litigate your case and must be disqualified if an amicable resolution is not reached.
- TEAM APPROACH – You and your spouse each have your own respective attorneys looking out for your legal rights and best interest. However, you will also have “neutrals”. These are (1) mental health professionals who preserve and protect the process and (2) financial advisors who provide advice as to the marital assets and debts, future budgets, tax implications and the reorganization of wealth.
- CONFIDENTIALITY – Collaborative Divorce is confidential. This means that privilege belongs to all of the parties and participants in the process and no one involved can be forced to testify about anything that occurs during the process except in very limited circumstances.
- TRANSPARENCY – All documents and information is exchanged voluntarily. There is no need to do formal discovery requests and there are no subpoenas or depositions.
If you want to divorce with less stress and resolve your issues in a more peaceful way, contact collaborative family law attorney Lauren Y. Koleilat today.
Lauren Y. Koleilat is a family law attorney and mediator with 17 years of experience.