The certainly may be times when the circumstances of a divorce case in Fort Myers necessitate the parties involved going to trial to resolve their issues. Yet formal divorce proceedings carried out in court can be costly and can cause a case to drag out much longer than might actually be necessary. It is for this very reason why divorcing couples are encouraged to act amicably towards each other throughout the process (as be open to coming to compromises), as such an attitude might ultimately prove to benefit all involved. Indeed, oftentimes court officials might even openly promote such cooperation.
Such is what occurred in the case of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. He seemed poised to embark on a bitter dispute with his soon-to-be ex-wife as they worked through proceedings that had already had their fair share of heated moments. However, the judge hearing the case let both sides know that taking it to trial might not be in their best interest, given Giuliani notoriety as well as his current position as the personal attorney for the President of the United States. Thus, the couple worked to put aside their disagreements and have succeeded at settling their case out of court. The lawyer for Giuliani’s wife even indicated that the pair hopes to remain friends going forward.
The swift resolution of a divorce case does not simply make financial sense; it also exacts less of an emotional toll on those involved, making any future cooperation between them more likely to happen. Those who hope to achieve such an outcome may find an experienced attorney a valuable resource to making it happen.
When couples decide that it is time to end a decades-long marriage, a collaborative process may avoid dividing assets based on the decisions of a Florida divorce court judge. According to a study reported in Bloomberg magazine, an individual’s wealth can drop by about half after a gray divorce.
Reportedly, women may see their standard of living drop by nearly 45%. Men, however, may only experience a 21% reduction in their standard of living after a gray divorce. While some individuals may view a late-in-life marriage dissolution as an opportunity to start a new career, others may find themselves unable to enter or rejoin the workforce.
Maintaining a standard of living may require financial support
For individuals over the age of 50, dividing assets to secure a comfortable retirement arrangement may be the most important issue to consider. Individuals who have earned income through a long-term career may look forward to retiring with the financial means to do so provided by an employer-sponsored plan. Others, however, may require financial assistance to get by and request alimony or spousal support.
Coming to an agreement before going to court
Negotiating alimony or financial support with a soon-to-be ex-spouse may be a quick and much smoother process through a collaborative divorce. Couples living together already understand how to maintain their household budget. Coming to a mutually agreeable arrangement through the collaborative process may involve little more than an amicable and realistic budget discussion.
When distributing property in a way that meets each spouse’s needs, a collaborative divorce process allows for open discussion and negotiation. Settling matters out of court may enable a divorcing couple to reach a more equitable and satisfactory agreement, as noted by Reader’s Digest magazine.
While people generally associate divorce with dramatic conflict and bitter animosity, couples choose to separate for many different reasons, and divorce is anything but uncommon. According to the American Psychological Association, over 20% of first marriages in the U.S. end within five years, and 48% end within 20 years.
In many cases, spouses are less interested in settling scores than in moving on with their lives. Collaborative and mediated divorce are two alternative approaches that may help some couples minimize the time, expense and emotional toll of a court-fought process while working toward a mutually beneficial resolution.
When divorcing spouses are willing to work together, a trained mediator may be able to help resolve issues by acting as a neutral third party. The mediator works on behalf of both partners simultaneously, providing them with legal guidance while helping them to come to a cost-effective, equitable agreement about child custody issues, child support, alimony, the division of property and other financial and family-related decisions.
Similar to mediation, in a collaborative divorce, spouses agree to work together toward a resolution without litigation. However, during collaboration, each spouse retains her or his own lawyer to advise and assist in negotiations. All parties involved agree to take a cooperative rather than adversarial approach to reaching a settlement, allowing for a communicative process that prioritizes mutual respect and problem-solving.
Strong foundations for the future
When a divorce case goes to court, the law constrains the types of settlement decisions the judge may make. Those outcomes are often not what either party had in mind. In addition to avoiding the expense and stress of litigation, taking a mediated or collaborative approach allows separating couples much more control over the outcome of their own divorce.
Neither of these options may be the best choice for spouses who have become irreconcilably estranged. However, these modern alternatives to traditional divorce offer a unique opportunity for those couples willing to put aside their differences while working toward a better future.