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Uncovering three common options for divorce in Florida

Divorcing couples can choose between mediation, collaborative divorce, and litigation when creating the details of their divorce settlement.

Every divorce case is unique. While some couples may gear up for a long and emotional court battle when preparing for divorce, others may choose to deal with matters of separation in a more civil and amicable manner. Mediation, collaborative divorce and traditional divorce litigation are all available options for couples seeking to separate from their spouse, and without proper legal advice, it may be difficult for some Florida couples to determine which option is best for their specific circumstances.

A closer look at mediation

Mediation offers a non-confrontational option to those looking for an alternative to expensive court room litigation. Mediation sessions take place in a neutral atmosphere with a non-biased mediator present to direct the discussion.

Although mediation is not for everyone, it can be extremely beneficial in situations where a couple is willing to amicably discuss the details of their divorce settlement. Some common advantages to mediation include:

  • People can create a settlement quicker, usually within one or two mediation sessions.
  • People can take the time to create the terms set in their divorce decree that are unique to their family, rather than leave the details up to the judge's discretion.
  • Mediation generally costs less, as there are no court fees.
  • An attorney is not required at a mediation session; however, many people choose to work with an experienced lawyer to fully understand the legal and long-term issues at stake.

In addition, people are often more compliant with the details of the settlement when they have had an active role in creating the decree.

What is collaborative divorce?

The collaborative divorce process requires the parties to sign a contract agreeing to attempt to resolve their differences before going to court. The process is rooted in the idea that people are more likely to settle if they feel the process is non-adversarial, and if they feel that everyone is in it "together".

In the collaborative process, each party is represented by attorneys, and, depending on the circumstances of the case, other experts may be brought in to help the parties reach decisions. These experts can include mental health experts, financial experts, or anyone else that may be needed to facilitate the process.

While some couples may not be able to work together in such an environment, other couples find the process rewarding and much less stressful than traditional divorce strategies. If a settlement cannot be reached, the attorneys for the parties will withdraw from representation and the parties are free to seek out other strategies to accomplish the divorce.

When to hire an attorney

When people feel that they need personal legal representation during a divorce case, and cannot seem to work through the details of the divorce with their spouse, they may choose to contact a divorce attorney. Specifically, individuals dealing with domestic violence, abusive or controlling partners, or spouses that are hiding financial assets, may not feel comfortable in a mediation or collaborative divorce process.

An established family law attorney can help to litigate details of any case, including child custody, child support, property division and alimony payments. Contact an attorney, who can help you get what you rightfully deserve from the divorce.

Keywords: divorce, mediation, collaborative divorce, litigation

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