Last week I wrote about my path to getting involved in the divorce process as a financial professional. After seeing too many recent divorcees fail to transition financially, it became my firm’s mission to help divorcees with a successful financial transition to their new reality.
Until recently, there was only path to a divorce and this involved litigation and the courts. Traditionally, each party hires a family law attorney whose job is to fight for their client, potentially leaving the final decision about their future to a judge. In this adversarial process, the spouses’ relationships are further strained where they are placed in a situation where they have to fight over the assets, spousal support and custody of their children. Instead of learning to work together post seperation, they are taught by the system to fight for every detail of their settlement. The reality is they need to learn to work together in their new family dynamic, especially if there are children involved. There has to be a better way to move forward with a peaceful relationship and partnership.
Two years ago, I learned of a movement occuring in the family law community about a new process sweeping the nation called collaborative divorce. Until now, this process was mostly used with the wealthy or high profile celebrity divorces. Recently, 46 professionals were training and certified in collaborative divorce in the Sarasota and Bradenton areas and this alternative is available to all families, regardless of income.
On this path, each party hires a collaborative attorney who agrees to work with the other partys attorney’. There is no threat of going to court as the attorneys agree they cannot continue to represent the spouses in court. This takes away the threat of “we are taking this to court” and incentivises the attorneys to work together on a solution that works for both parties. Because it stays out of the courts, the settlement remains private. It also allows the flexiblity for YOU to decide the outcome instead of a third party judge.
Collaborative divorce utilizes a team approach with a financial neutral and mental health facilitator, allowing each team member to bring their specialized expertise to faciliate the process. As the financial neutral, I have the opportunty to help both spouses in the team dynamic. In this role, I assist with the required financial paperwork, develop settlement options and most importantly, make sure that both spouses will be able to survive financially after the divorce.
If you are one of the 50% of Americans on the path to divorce, know that there are better options out there. If you are interested in learning more about collaborative divorce, there is a great website that will educate you on the process and even has a professoinal directory of trained professionals in the Bradenton, Sarasota and Tampa Bay areas. Take the first step to a healthier tomorrow and click on the link below to “Next Generation Divorce” or call our office and we can help you start the collaborative process.