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What is collaborative divorce in Florida?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Divorce

Sadly, divorce is all too common in Florida. However, it is quite likely that most Floridians don’t actually know how divorce operates in the state. What you have seen on TV and in movies may not apply to Florida divorces at all. This is certainly true of what is known as collaborative divorce in the state.

Types of divorce in Florida

There can be many forms that divorce can take in the state of Florida. However, in most cases, divorces can be divided into three main categories. These include:

  • contested divorce
  • uncontested divorce
  • collaborative divorce

A contested divorce can be thought of as a traditional divorce with an actual court case, lawyers making arguments and a presiding judge making the important decisions. There are usually significant disagreements over things like property division, child custody, alimony and more that will be decided by the judge referencing relevant law and legal precedent.

An uncontested divorce, however, has no disagreements. An agreement is reached beforehand regarding the terms of the divorce and then signed off on by the judge. A collaborative divorce, however, can be thought of as a middle ground between contested and uncontested divorce.

Collaborative Divorce in Florida

As mentioned, collaborative divorce exists as a kind of middle ground between a contested and uncontested divorce. It occurs when both spouses disagree on the terms of the divorce but don’t want to go through the expense and frustration associated with the exhausting legal process of a court battle. Instead, something known as a collaborative participation agreement is used. This agreement ensures that the divorce settlement is hashed out between the spouses and their lawyers without the use of litigation or mediation.

Benefits of collaborative divorce

Such a novel process can have certain benefits including:

  • each spouse knows their needs better than a judge
  • the process is much cheaper
  • the process moves along at the pace better aligned with the spouses instead of the court
  • the process can be more attuned to the emotional needs of the family
  • non-court appointed guides can help with certain parts of the process
  • family issues are kept private unlike in a court case
  • the process is much more flexible

Overall, a collaborative divorce can benefit couples who wish to divorce and have disagreements but don’t want to go through an expensive and exhausting court case. This is why Floridian legislatures helped create this option for Florida residents.