Courtroom battles between divorcing partners make for good TV and theater, however, the old trope doesn’t have to play out in your divorce. With dedication from both partners, it’s possible for spouses to divorce amicably. Here’s how.
Divorce Options Outside of the Courtroom
Imagine skipping the courtroom altogether and avoiding legal fees for two attorneys and a slate of experts. It’s completely possible. Couples who have kept their assets separate and who do not have children and couples with few assets which will be split evenly can skip the courtroom and work with a lawyer to draw up the necessary paperwork for a divorce. This is useful for couples who have been married a short time and who have yet to accumulate property or assets together.
Couples who have a clear understanding of how their finances and parenting responsibilities will be divided can also bypass the courtroom if they are in agreement. Mediation with a skilled attorney can help a couple craft the necessary agreements for their divorce.
If you don’t have everything figured out, you can still skip the courtroom. Collaborative divorce allows couples who have decided to work together to divorce create the necessary agreements to separate their lives. Collaborative divorce isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination—no divorce options is easy when emotions are involved—however, its unique approach to helping spouses craft their new lives has made it a standout option for couples with children.
Collaborative Divorce as an Amicable Divorce Solution
One of the tenets of collaborative divorce is that both parties must agree to the process. Already, this is in contrast to traditional litigated divorce in which one party can bring proceedings against another party that opposes the divorce. This helps ensure that both parties are committed to working together. Participants in the collaborative process pledge to be open and forthcoming. They are to share documentation willingly, such as financial documents. There are no withholding games as can be the case in the courtroom when one party is attempting to hide assets.
To further ensure that parties do their best to work together, attorneys representing the spouses in a collaborative divorce must sign an agreement stating that if the divorce proceedings fail and the parties must go to court, the attorneys will not be able to represent them in that process. This provides more buy-in for the divorce attorneys. If the collaborative process is ineffective, they will no longer be able to represent their clients, meaning that it is in everyone’s best interests to work together and to think creatively to make sure the collaborative process succeeds.
Collaborative divorce requires spouses to work with a team as they dissolve their union. Each of the professionals on the team has a distinct role to support the couple. While the attorneys, and sometimes the divorce coaches, work for an individual client, the financial neutral and the child specialist, if one is included, work for the benefit of both parties. Everyone works together to move the process forward while simultaneously ensuring that both parties’ needs are being met. Not only are assets and parenting plans considered but so, too, are the emotional well-being of the spouses and children. Rather than having a judge determine who gets what, the parties work to come to mutual agreement about assets and parenting plans with the help of the team. This allows for more creative agreements that truly meets the needs of all parties. Plus, participants in the collaborative process often learn new methods for communicating that can help them in their post-divorce life.
Divorce doesn’t have to be a tit-for-tat fight in front of a judge. Couples looking to divorce amicably have options. The best way to determine which option may be most suitable for your situation is to have a discussion with a Tampa divorce lawyer. During this consultation, you’ll be able to discuss your situation and to learn more about the different types of divorce. Call today to learn more.