What To Include In A Florida Collaborative Divorce Agreement
Many divorcing spouses seek a non-confrontational, amicable resolution to dissolving their marriage, so more couples are turning to collaborative divorce instead of the traditional courtroom setting. Florida’s Collaborative Law Process Act establishes a framework for the parties to work out divorce issues through guidance from their respective attorneys, without the need for court intervention. Besides avoiding the stress of a trial and high legal costs, additional benefits are keeping the subject matter private and protecting children from negativity. Plus, you have more control over the outcome, instead of being forced into rigid state laws.
While the statute lays out the general framework, the parties will execute a collaborative law participation agreement that establishes the specifics for their own case. The details are crucial, and working out as many of them as possible opens the door to success with the process. You can count on your Dade City collaborative divorce lawyer to draft, review, and negotiate the agreement, but it is important to know what goes in it.
Basics About the Process
The collaborative participation agreement will include some of the administrative details about the proceedings, such as:
- Identification of the parties and their attorneys;
- A commitment to be open and honest in communications about divorce issues;
- A promise to engage in full disclosure during conversations;
- Confidentiality provisions that apply to the parties and their lawyers; and,
- Intent to NOT resort to litigation at any point during the process.
In addition, your agreement should provide general arrangements for discussions. Some collaborative divorce cases take place in a series of meetings, though video sessions may also be appropriate.
Topics You Will Cover
The parties will address many of the same subjects that would come up if you went to divorce court, but you will do so in a less adversarial setting. Depending on your circumstances, collaborative divorce may cover:
- Classifying assets as marital or separate property;
- How to divide marital property;
- Details regarding alimony, including type, amount, and duration; and,
- Child custody, parenting time, and child support – all of which must comply with Florida’s standard on the child’s best interests.
In addition, you can also include provisions on modifying alimony and issues related to minor children if the parties’ circumstances change. With a collaborative agreement, the parties can determine which issues are important to them and fashion an agreement that addresses them.
Duties of Your Respective Attorneys
Another key component of your collaborative law participation agreement is a section on the role of the parties’ lawyers. Your attorney will still represent your interests and guide you through the process, but there are limitations if the collaborative law process does not produce satisfactory results. The lawyers representing both parties will be required to withdraw if discussions break down and litigation becomes necessary.
A Florida Collaborative Divorce Attorney Will Handle Details
If you would like more information on the benefits of the collaborative law process, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane. You can call 352-567-0055 or visit our website to set up a consultation. Our firm serves clients throughout Pasco County in a wide range of family law matters, including divorce and alternatives that avoid traditional divorce court proceedings.