“Can We Be Adults About This?”

15673998-Little-kids-dressed-as-business-people-Stock-PhotoWith the recent passage of the Florida Collaborative Act, Florida joins 13 other states in recognizing Collaborative Divorce as an option to dissolve your marriage. While the reasons to choose the collaborative route vs. litigation are many, I will try to point out a few of the differences.

It is well documented that litigated divorce is an adversarial process. A mandatory requirement on this path involves participating in mediation before a trial is scheduled. I have been involved as a financial expert in both venues and cannot stress enough how much I prefer collaborative vs. mediation in a litigated case.

In these adversarial mediations, the husband and wife sit in separate rooms with their attorney and financial professional. The neutral mediator then goes back and forth between each party in an attempt to resolve their issues and form a marital settlement agreement.

In these cases, mediation typically begins at 9am and can go well past the end of day. I have been involved in several that have even gone past midnight! In my opinion, the entire process is completely inefficient. One party will sit with their professionals in their separate room for hours while the mediator is with the other party. The process continues back and forth with offers and counteroffers. Honestly, it becomes downright silly!

Collaborative Divorce is different in the respect that the parties sit in the same room and work together to resolve these issues. From my experience, we get more accomplished in a two hour meeting together than a full day during mediation. Instead of the back and forth between rooms, we work as a team to brainstorm and provide solutions to the issues where we are in disagreement. Most of the time, because the parties are working in the interest of resolving the case and not positioning for court, it becomes difficult to tell which attorney is representing which party. Along with the financial professional and facilitator, we are working together in a team approach, resulting in a more efficient process and ultimately, lower costs.

To learn more about collaborative divorce, give me a call to set up a free consultation or go to www.nextgenerationdivorce.com.

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