Facing the end of a marriage is incredibly stressful, even if you know it’s the right decision. Collaborative divorce is an option for couples who wish to work together to resolve their differences without going to court.
It can provide a more positive experience that promotes mutual respect. Even in cases where emotions are running high, many couples have a strong desire to maintain a positive working relationship for the sake of their children.
At Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC, our Orlando collaborative divorce attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience helping families with divorce, child custody and child support, division of marital assets, spousal support, and other family law matters. We are experienced family law attorneys who think carefully about your family’s situation and come up with creative solutions that allow you to move forward with dignity.
Since 2012, we’ve provided trusted legal advice to clients in Orlando, FL. We’d be proud to represent you as you start the next chapter in your life. Call (407) 831-0203 or contact us online today to learn more about whether collaborative divorce could be right for you.
Table of Contents
How Can Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC, Help With a Collaborative Divorce in Orlando, FL?
Going through a divorce is an emotional process. It can be mentally draining, and it can be expensive if the process gets drawn out in a court battle. We can help you explore a collaborative divorce that is less stressful and more predictable. We can be the voice of reason when you feel your emotions are taking over.
Our divorce attorneys in Orlando will help by:
- Listening compassionately as you outline your goals and needs for the outcome of your separation
- Accompany you to all meetings with your spouse and their attorney
- Help you analyze your financial situation and determine how spousal support, child support, or other aspects of the divorce come into play
- Filing all paperwork to initiate the divorce and finalize the settlement
- Work with your spouse’s attorney to reach an agreement
We’ve maintained a 10.0 rating (the highest) on Avvo, a trusted rating website for legal services. We’ve received the approval of our peers for our professionalism and ethics, as shown by our repeated selection for Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. We are conveniently located in Orlando, Florida, and we offer free initial consultations. Call or contact us online today.
What Is Collaborative Divorce in Florida?
A collaborative divorce is a process authorized by Florida statute by which the parties agree to attempt to resolve their differences without going to court. They also agree to provide financial information voluntarily.
The parties sign a Collaborative Law Participation Agreement, which includes an understanding that the attorneys will not continue to provide representation if the process is unsuccessful. If the parties don’t reach an agreement, they both have to hire new attorneys. This removes any question that both attorneys are committed to reaching a resolution through collaboration and will not benefit if the matter proceeds to litigation.
Can All Divorce Issues Be Handled Through Collaborative Divorce?
Yes. All of the family law issues that are handled through a traditional court-related divorce can be addressed in the collaborative law process, including:
- Division of property
- Child custody
- Parenting time
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Division of marital debts
- Business interests
Like a traditional divorce, you can revisit the terms of the agreement in the future if your circumstances change. We routinely help clients with judgment modification when they change jobs, or their child’s needs have changed. Couples who handled their divorce through the collaborative process are likely to be able to cooperate in the future in the event a change is needed.
What Are the Benefits of Collaborative Divorce?
There are many benefits of handling your divorce out of court, such as:
Avoids the Time and Expense of Litigation
Litigation may involve motions that require your attorney to write a brief or appear in court. Written discovery and depositions take your time as well as your attorney’s.
You have more control over the decisions in a collaborative divorce. Going the litigation route leaves important decisions about your future in the hands of a judge who is not familiar with the history of your marriage and the needs of your family.
Litigation is inherently adversarial. Agreeing to a collaborative process signals that you want to try to put your emotions aside and resolve issues in a respectful manner. This can help you and your spouse maintain a positive relationship in the future and is often less stressful for your children.
Collaborative divorce is much more private and confidential than a divorce handled through court. Litigation may require financial records to become part of the public records. Facts about your marital relationship may be disclosed in court filings and discussed in open court. You may have to testify in a hearing or at trial. Those nerve-wracking things are not a part of the collaborative divorce process.
Collaborative divorce isn’t a magic bullet. You’ll still have to address difficult and emotional issues. But our patient and considerate divorce lawyers will guide you through the process and help you keep a positive focus on your future.
How Do I Know if Collaborative Divorce Is Right for Me?
Collaborative divorce works best for couples who are generally on good terms. But divorce is never easy, and it’s completely normal to have some tension in your relationship if you’re considering ending the marriage. If you aren’t getting along with your spouse right now or feel angry or hurt, that doesn’t mean that collaborative divorce will not work for you. Sometimes agreeing to work together can ease tension because you know you will not have a contentious court battle ahead.
If you settle the majority of issues through the collaborative process but cannot agree on everything, you can proceed to court for just the unresolved issues. You’ve still made great progress if you are able to handle some issues out of court.
The best way to know if your situation might work well in the collaborative process is to consult an experienced Orlando family law attorney like the ones at Conti Moore. We’ve helped countless couples navigate the divorce process and can help you understand which option is best for you.
How Does the Collaborative Divorce Process Work?
If you choose the collaborative law process, that doesn’t mean your divorce won’t go through the court system at all. Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage, so it must be initiated by filing a petition with the court. And the court must issue a final order ending the marriage. But your lawyer will take care of handling any paperwork that needs to be filed. You may need to appear briefly when the court issues the final order of dissolution, but your attorney will advise you of what is most likely to happen in your case.
Address the Issues
Generally, once you file a notice with the court that you plan to proceed with a collaborative process, you will begin a series of discussions or settlement meetings with your spouse and their lawyer. Some communication may be between the lawyers by phone or email; sometimes, you may all meet as a group to discuss issues.
Both parties will exchange financial information through their attorneys. This information will be used as a basis for discussion involving property division, spousal support, or child support.
Other professionals may help you during the collaborative divorce process, such as:
- Financial planners
- Certified Public Accountants
- Psychologists or mental health professionals
- Child specialists
These experts are neutral and do not take sides. They are there to help the couple understand the issues that need to be addressed, offer creative solutions, and facilitate productive discussion.
For example, financial professionals may value property, provide tax advice, or help the parties consider options for business interests. Mental health professionals are there to promote non-confrontational strategies during discussions or help the parties stay focused on positive outcomes. A child specialist can help you understand your child’s needs and how to help your child deal with the divorce.
Once all issues are resolved, the attorneys will draft an agreement. There is often some back and forth to get it finalized so that both parties are satisfied that it reflects the agreement reached on all issues. The court will be notified that the parties have reached an agreement.
The court will review the agreement and make sure any custody or parenting time agreements are in the best interest of the child(ren). The court will then issue a final order dissolving the marriage.
Contact Our Orlando Collaborative Divorce Attorneys for a Free Consultation
Are you looking for a way to handle your divorce that is less contentious and gives you more control over the process? To find out if collaborative divorce is right for you, contact Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC today. We are always looking for ways to help our clients stress less about their future.
We offer free consultations, so you can have a conversation with an experienced Orlando collaborative divorce attorney at no risk and with no obligation.