What is an out-of-court divorce?

If a divorce is in your future, you may assume that you will have to deal with the stress and cost (financial and otherwise) of a court proceeding. In reality, court is something that you and your spouse can and in most cases should avoid.

There are many advantages to obtaining an out-of-court divorce in Florida. Here are a few of them:

  • You and your spouse can determine the outcome. You will not be exposed to the risk of having a stranger make decisions that will affect you and your children for the rest of your lives.
  • You and your spouse can prepare financial disclosure and compile information on your own timelines. You can provide only the information that is necessary – not all of the information that you each would be required to disclose if you have a court case.
  • Out-of-court divorces proceed faster and cost less than a court case. Litigation involves a lot of wasted time and effort.
  • You can choose to restructure family relationships-not destroy them as so often happens in a court case. This is the most significant of all the benefits in an out-of-court divorce. Keeping lines of communication open can have a lasting benefit for many years beyond your divorce.

Litigation is an adversarial proceeding that leads to the two sides digging into their positions and attacking the other side. This is time-consuming, emotionally damaging, and costly. Through collaborative divorce or other out-of-court options, you and your spouse can craft your own settlement. Once you reach a agreement, you can present your settlement to the court to approve.

Sheldon E. Finman, P.A., is a family law attorney in Fort Myers who helps his clients seek seeks less adversarial ways to dissolve a marriage.

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