Going through a traditional divorce in Florida means a bitter battle in court. There are many reasons to avoid an adversarial split; wanting to end things faster or shielding your children from an ugly, drawn-out fight are two of the most common. Mediation and collaborative divorce are good alternatives to traditional divorce.
Understanding divorce mediation
Divorce mediation is an option that allows you and your spouse to avoid going to court while you work together to settle all matters of concern. It’s unique because you act as a team and negotiate on anything you have trouble agreeing on. You meet with a neutral third-party mediator who helps you see the other’s point of view. This person doesn’t take sides but helps you work together on anything you can’t immediately agree on to help you reach a satisfactory settlement.
Collaborative divorce explained
The other alternative to an adversarial divorce is collaborative divorce. This option means that you and your spouse meet separately with your respective attorneys and then all together. The process requires you to enter into a collaborative agreement that states that your attorneys will withdraw from the case if you cannot reach an agreement on all matters of your divorce. If the latter occurs, you go on to have a formal court proceeding.
Collaborative divorce often involves bringing specialists in to assist with complex matters. For example, if the couple can’t agree about child custody, a child specialist is brought in to help. Whatever the case, the spouses must agree on every matter of concern, or they cannot end their marriage through the collaborative process.
Mediation and collaborative divorce aren’t appropriate if there’s a history of domestic violence or lingering contention. However, if you and your spouse had an amicable split and can agree on all the terms of your divorce, either of these options could work for you. Both allow you to more quickly and easily end your marriage and move on with a clean slate.