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What is a Collaborative Florida Divorce?

You are heading for divorce, but would like to work things out with your spouse so that you don't have to go through the War of the Roses (a movie that was funny and scary at the same time). You hope that, despite your differences, you will be able to get through the process in a way that will enable you to get along in the future and potentially sit in the same row at your children's weddings. The problem is that you have some complicated parenting or property issues that could result in some real legal battles.

Something called "collaborative divorce" has saved many a divorcing couple years of future anguish and thousands of dollars in legal fees.

The "collaborative" part is that, even though you are headed for a breakup and a legal process, you both agree that you will negotiate the case and reach a mutual decision rather than battle it out in front of a judge. But how do you trust each other to do that? One simple factor makes all the difference. You both hire lawyers who have received special training in the collaborative law process. The lawyers agree up front that they will do all in their power to help you reach such an agreement and if they can't, they will resign from your representation. In this way, each of you knows that the other lawyer is going to do all that can be done to keep it moving toward settlement. Otherwise, the lawyer is off the case. Additionally, you know that your spouse is serious about settling because otherwise your spouse is wasting money on a lawyer who is not making any progress and soon will not be on the case.

During the collaborative law process, many times joint experts are retained to help with compiling the accurate list and values of marital property and to make recommendations as to how to solve parenting issues.

Bottom Line: Many people in our area of the state have been happy that they decided to hire an expert collaborative divorce lawyer to help them through the difficult time.

(copyright Stann Givens 2009)

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An uncontested divorce means that the spouses agree on the division of marital property, alimony, and child custody, support, and visitation. The spouses sign a Marital Settlement Agreement and go to court for a quick hearing to finalize the divorce. The cost of an uncontested Florida divorce is usually minimal. It generally takes 30 days after the parties sign the Marital Settlement Agreement for the court to finalize the uncontested divorce. This time will vary depending on how busy the courthouse is, but an uncontested divorce with both spouse's participation is typically the fastest.
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