What are the pros and cons of collaborative family law in Florida?
Oh no! First with a manifesto, now pros and cons! Has Mr. Jones lost his mind?
After several years of family law litigation, the loss of my mind could be near, but just in the nick of time comes a new philosophy. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to read about why I’m eliminating litigation from my law practice. Knowing some of you will not read it (because I can be very long-winded on a computer keyboard), here are some quick pros and cons to choosing a collaborative family law approach to marital legal troubles.
Your children can hear you.
-Shorter time-frame to resolution
-Keeps the focus on the best interests of your children
-Neutral experts, such as a neutral financial -professional, reduces costs
-You are a part of the process and solution
-Reduced animosity and stress
-Learn new ways to communicate with your spouse that may help with child time-sharing in the future
-More privacy, fewer details become part of public record
-Freedom to discuss issues without the fear your statements will later be used against you
-Stronger agreements – you created it together, so you and your spouse are more likely to abide by it
-Reduced conflict and fewer time delays will make the divorce easier for the children
-Court is unpredictable, collaborative family law gives you more control over the situation
-Happier attorneys are easier to work with and become lifelong legal counselors to the parties
– There are none – just kidding!- You’re expected to work with your spouse, someone with whom you are at odds
– A breakdown in the process will send you to new attorneys and new experts, increasing costs and timeframes
– Collaborative law isn’t right for every family, such as those with high conflict personalities and domestic violence
– New philosophy of law, not a lot of attorneys trained yet
– Definite time-frames and meetings force you to participate with expediency when you may need more time (though we can work through this issue)
– The mandate of transparency may force you to reveal information that you’d rather keep from your spouse
– You may need several neutral experts, depending on the complexity of your assets and social issues
To be sure, collaborative family law is not the only way to approach your marital dispute in Florida. In fact, I suggest that it is unethical for me to withhold the other options from clients at the initial consultation. And I believe it is unethical for attorneys, who do not recognize or refuse to accept collaborative law, to fail to tell clients about the collaborative family law option. In Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, there are dozens of family law attorneys ready and willing to throw down the gauntlet and take you to war against your spouse. Maybe that’s what you need to find closure – vengeance or the last word. That’s fine, but I’m not going to help you consume public court resources to get back at your spouse. Mediation is another option, usually ordered before the case may be set for final hearing, but even mediation can be a challenge – you only get a couple of hours, and one nasty exchange about the mistress (or histress) will cause the mediation process to implode.
I am a trained collaborative family law attorney, and I want to help you get through whatever difficult family dispute you’re experiencing, in a way that moves you forward in a positive direction. You can get divorced without the animosity and destruction that the typical adversarial process causes. I can help you divorce without damage. Call me so we can talk about it. 850-607-6879 or Email Me