When one hears the word divorce, it is likely that the images that come to mind involve warring spouses facing off in a courtroom. Unfortunately, when many Florida couples are headed for a divorce, both the spouses and their children often endure an emotionally exhausting ordeal. When possible, a collaborative law approach can help make the process as civil as possible.

In collaborative law divorce, the spouses obtain separate legal counsel who will then meet together to discuss the issues that will need to be addressed and resolved before the divorce can be granted. The first step in the process is to assess whether this approach will work for the divorcing couple. If the pair cannot work together in a calm manner or if there are extenuating circumstances, then a traditional divorce may be more appropriate.

Once this process is determined to be suitable, then the involved parties will sign an agreement that states that the parties will work together and will agree to share information and cooperate in reaching a suitable settlement. The parties also will agree on which professionals may be required in order to reach the best solutions. The spouses and their attorneys will meet outside of the courtroom until all of the matters have been successfully resolved.

Once the spouses have agreed to all of the settlement terms, the divorce agreement and all supporting documents will be submitted to the court. If at any point the parties cannot reach an agreement, then the process will be discontinued, and each spouse will need to consult with a new attorney to file for a traditional divorce. Florida residents who believe that a collaborative law divorce may be the best option for them can seek the assistance of an attorney who is well-versed in the process.