You May Have More Divorce Options Than You Realize
Until relatively recently, courtroom litigation was the only way to get a divorce. This is one reason why divorce is so often described using terms like “bitter” and “battle.” Litigated divorce is an adversarial process that is necessary in some cases but unhelpful in others.
Thankfully, alternative divorce processes are now commonly used in Florida, thanks to lawyers who believed in and promoted them. Firm founder Aislynn Thomas-McDonald is one such lawyer. In addition to her effectiveness in the courtroom, Mrs. McDonald has helped to advance the use of mediation and collaborative divorce statewide. Regardless of which approach is most appropriate for your case, you can count on experienced and knowledgeable representation that protects and promotes your best interests.
How Collaborative Divorce And Mediation Work
These two processes are similar yet distinct from one another. They both involve working out the details of a divorce through conversation and agreement outside the courtroom.
In mediation, both spouses meet for a series of sessions with a neutral third party known as a mediator. This person’s job is to facilitate productive and targeted discussions between the two spouses, who must eventually reach an agreement on all divorce terms. The mediator cannot make rulings or offer legal advice, and they never take sides. If desired, each spouse can also consult with their own attorney.
If an agreement is reached, the mediator formalizes it in writing so that the two parties can present it for a judge’s approval in court. If no agreement is reached, the parties take the dispute to court.
Collaborative divorce is a series of negotiations between spouses and their respective attorneys. Before the process begins, the two parties sign an agreement to resolve their issues without litigation. Both parties also agree to be honest and forthcoming with relevant information. If needed, other professionals can be brought into the process to facilitate dispute resolution or advise on certain topics (like finances).
Mediation and collaborative divorce tend to be faster, less expensive and less stressful than traditional litigation. And they give both parties more control over the outcome of the case.
When Divorce Litigation Is Necessary
As mentioned above, litigated divorce is still necessary in certain situations. If your spouse is unwilling to negotiate, provide accurate and honest information or behave in a civil manner, collaborative divorce and mediation will not be possible. Litigation is also necessary in cases where one spouse has committed domestic violence, made threats or otherwise acted abusively. The power imbalance in these cases is not conducive to a negotiated solution.
If your case requires or would benefit from litigation, Mrs. McDonald will skillfully and zealously advocate for you at trial. She is as comfortable in the courtroom as she is at the negotiation table.
Assess Your Options With The Help Of An Attorney
You may not know which divorce method is right for you until you’ve had a chance to talk things over with an attorney from Thomas-McDonald Law Firm, P.A.. To discuss your options during an initial consultation, call the firm in Miami at 305-928-6999 or fill out an online contact form.