While the phrase “collaborative law” might be new to you, the concept was introduced 25 years ago as an alternative to acrimonious divorce trials in which judges make all of the decisions that affect the family, with very little input from the divorcing couple. Collaborative divorce empowers divorcing spouses to figure out mutually beneficial, long-term solutions to financial and family issues with the help of a supportive collaborative team. Collaborative law’s commitment to shared experts, full disclosure, and keeping cases out of court promotes an atmosphere of respect and encourages a dignified relationship between spouses, thus minimizing the economic and emotional costs of divorce.
What Does A Collaborative Divorce Look Like?
In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse each choose your own collaborative attorneys, whose role resembles that of a legal counselor, as well as advocate. As an advisor and confidante, a collaborative lawyer helps his or her client articulate needs and desires and turn those into actionable ideas for asset division and co-parenting. The two collaborative attorneys and their clients select and share a neutral mental health professional and a neutral financial expert, who work with the entire collaborative team to help create options for the divorcing parties. The parties then review the options, modify them if necessary, and determine what options and combinations work best for each of them and their families, post-divorce.
Collaborative Law Is Designed To Be Confidential and Less Expensive
Following a series of sessions with the collaborative team, the collaborative lawyers will develop documents that embrace the decisions you and your partner have made about your children, finances, and property, which will be embodied into the Final Judgment signed by the Court. This process and the terms of your agreement is private and generally kept confidential, unless it later becomes necessary to file the documents for enforcement purposes. Another advantage of the collaborative law model: it’s constructed to keep expenses down, which means the costs are often much less than a litigated divorce.
If you or someone you love is considering a collaborative divorce, you’ve come to the right place. Between them, Lee Sasser and Nancy Weber have guided hundreds of Central Florida couples through the collaborative process with wisdom and sensitivity. Contact us now or give us a call (407) 896-0491 to see if collaborative law is right for you.