Collaborative Divorce

Don’t Draw Lines in the Sand

The traditional legal process of divorce no longer meets the needs of most family members, assuming it ever did in the first place. Typically, one spouse would sue the other spouse for divorce.

That process is referred to as the adversarial process, or traditional divorce. Each party retains a lawyer, who takes control of the process on behalf of his or her client.

Court papers are filed (a Petition, or Complaint, for Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage) and the responding party, after being served, files with the court an Answer and Counter-Claims. The foregoing process is referred to as “pleadings,” which are court papers filed by the parties at the beginning of the case, setting forth the issues or the procedural framework of claims by each side.

Posturing Begins

When the cooperation between the “sides” ceases. The parties are basically observers of the process, taking and obeying their lawyers’ advice, not having any control over the outcome.

Many clients are not at all pleased with the outcome and the aftermath of conflict which typically ensues. Many parties are shocked over the amount of fees and costs, even when a case is settled, as most cases generally are resolved at some point in the adversarial process.

Many clients are frustrated with delays and unsatisfactory answers from their attorneys, keeping them apprised of the status of their case. Ultimately, there is a huge risk taken when allowing a judge, who is a stranger to the family, to have absolute control over the matters raised.

What other options are there for a married couple considering the reality of divorce? Collaborative Law

Offers a more humane process:

  • Less costs in terms of fees
  • Less time in terms of duration of the process
  • Less stress and inconvenience
  • More discreet and private
  • Less risk of having others in control of the final decisions

Collaborative law is a type of alternative dispute resolution process in which the parties and lawyers all agree and commit to focus on problem solving, not fighting. In order to reach a settlement in which:

  • Both sides are comfortable.
  • Both parties are in control of the outcome.
  • Both parties and family members are allowed to be concerned with the continuation of established roots where desired.

For More Information About Collaborative Divorce

For more information about collaborative divorce, call us at 239-215-4952 or complete our contact form to schedule an initial consultation. Our law office is in Fort Myers and we represent clients throughout southwest Florida, including Cape Coral.