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Resolving a divorce through traditional litigation and the courts can be a time consuming and expensive, not to mention the acrimony and contentious nature of the process. While ending a marriage is an emotionally charged experience, a more amicable approach that is gaining popularity is collaborative divorce. This form of dispute resolution is designed to avoid court intervention, empower parties to make their own decisions, and minimize the acrimony normally associated with divorce.
Blair H. Chan, III, PLLC is an experienced and effective collaborative divorce attorney and routinely works with clients in the collaborative divorce process in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco Counties. We are dedicated to protecting our clients’ interests, promoting their best interests and helping them resolve their marital issues amicably.
Interdisciplinary collaborative divorce law is a process that involves parties, attorney, financial professionals and mental health professionals to work together to resolve divorce issues in a team-based and collaborative approach. All members of the team work together with the goal to create an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties. The basic guiding principle of collaborative divorce is to avoid litigation and judicial intervention and give parties the tools to successfully create their own resolution. The success of this process is dependent upon the parties engaging in a good faith exchange of pertinent information as well as communication in a way that enables them to reach a fair and reasonable agreement.
In Florida, a collaborative divorce considers all issues that are typically handled in any divorce, such as property division, spousal support, parental responsibilities and child support. However, the spouses and their attorneys must agree in writing not to pursue litigation and strive to reach a negotiated settlement during the collaborative process. However, if the process fails and no agreement is reached, the parties retain the option of taking the case to court after ending the collaborative process. If they fail to reach an agreement and require judicial intervention, however, the spouses must find new attorneys.
In our experience, a collaborative divorce ultimately costs parties significantly less than a traditional litigated divorce. Further, by teaching parties to resolve disputes between themselves, they are not dependent upon lawyers and the courts in the future to resolve their future disputes.
A collaborative law divorce relies on an interdisciplinary approach to managing the issues associated with a marital breakup. Often where there are issues of parental responsibility and time-sharing with children, a trained mental health professional known as a facilitator helps guide the discussion and negotiation of issues, as well as the creation of a parenting plan and timesharing schedule. In addition, where necessary, accountants and other financial experts collaborate with the attorneys and parties to evaluate and help resolve matters such as income, asset valuation, property division, child support and spousal support.
In short, this approach gives the parties the opportunity to settle their differences fairly and efficiently by using the input of a team of experts to reach the best possible resolution of marital issues. However, it is important to note that this team of experts does not have a decision-making role, rather their role is to advise and guide the spouses in working together to resolve their issues and achieve their objectives.
The overarching goal of collaborative law divorce is to minimize the confrontational aspects of a litigated divorce and guide a couple to reaching more amicable solutions. This is especially helpful for parents as this process can mitigate the emotional harm children are known to suffer in a contentious divorce.
Blair H. Chan, III, PLLC is dedicated to helping clients end their marriages amicably through the collaborative divorce process. We routinely work with a network of facilitators and financial experts and have a proven track record of helping families achieve successful outcomes. If you are considering a divorce and wish to pursue alternatives that can restore harmony to your family, call our office today for a free consultation. Our clients come from all over the Tampa area including the towns of Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Plant City. We also service clients in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco County.