An Explanation of Collaborative Divorce

We welcome Christian Denmon, Founding Partner , Denmon & Denmon, in Tampa Bay, Florida, as our guest blogger:

If you aren’t getting along with your spouse or no longer care for them, it is time to take action. A traditional divorce might not be ideal for your unique situation.

An Explanation of Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce involves the assistance of collaborative divorce attorneys. These experienced professionals represent each spouse. They engage in an interest-based negotiation to solve the unique problems of the couple’s separation. This approach permits spouses to create agreements that key in on their most valued goals. If you are looking to divorce your spouse in a respectful and peaceful manner with as little drama as possible, a collaborative divorce is for you. You will also likely obtain some benefit from perusing relationship blogs.

Why so Many Couples are Opting for a Collaborative Divorce

There are countless benefits to this style of divorce. This is a highly civil and mature approach to divorce. It recognizes the marriage is ending yet obligations and relationships will continue, especially if kids are involved. Collaborative divorce provides spouses with an emotionally safe atmosphere to end their marriage. It is much more comfortable to iron out a divorce settlement agreement in an office setting than a court room.

  • The process is completely confidential. No one but the attorneys is aware of the divorce. This is a stark contrast to a conventional divorce that takes place in a public court.
  • The focus is on the future instead of the divisions of the past and present. It focuses on the issues that are most important to the couple as a collective and as individuals.
  • This is a comparably quick and affordable means of divorcing that minimizes the drama as well as contact with the court.

Perhaps most importantly, collaborative divorce helps spouses and their kids attain a respectful solution that benefits all parties. Conflicts are resolved through interest-based negotiation so there is no need to go to court. The end result is a series of solutions that provide the spouses and kids with the best possible lives following the divorce. It’s done as control of the divorce and is not obtained by a judge who doesn’t understand the family’s unique dynamic, circumstances and nuanced relationships. Rather, the divorce negotiations are handled by specialists who take the time to understand the family’s idiosyncrasies.

The Collaborative Divorce Process

Here is how the process works:

  1. Spouses meet with their attorneys to explain their divorce goals.
  2. The spouses and attorneys meet as a group to engage in negotiations.
  3. Some collaborative divorces also require the assistance of additional professionals like unbiased accountants and child custody specialists. Such outside assistance might be necessary to help the sides reach an agreement without bringing the case to court.
  4. The vast majority of collaborative divorces result in a mutually beneficial arrangement for both parties. This is a direct and uncontested means of ending a marriage.

The Participation Agreement

The spouses and their attorneys enter into a participation agreement. This agreement states that if a settlement is not reached, the attorneys will exit the process and not participate in any litigation that follows. This is commonly referred to as a “no court” agreement. All parties understand the attorneys’ retainers are solely applicable to settlement negotiations. The participation agreement explains the commitments of the collaborative divorce process. Common provisions include:

  • Parties’ reliance on attorneys to assist in reaching a settlement
  • An agreement that outstanding conflicts will be settled through interest-based negotiation
  • The parties will act in the best interests of their children

The Divorce Attorney’s Role

Though spouses are central to this unique divorce process, collaborative Tampa divorce lawyers help the married couple with important advice and assistance. These specially trained professionals engage in negotiations to craft a settlement agreement that benefits both parties. Each client meets with his or her attorney and also together with their current spouse and opposing counsel. The divorce attorney provides the client with support every step of the way, fiercely advocating for his or her interest while the outcome of the collaborative divorce is shaped gradually.