What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative Divorce/Collaborative Law is an excellent option in family law matters. It offers relief from the emotional drain and financial tussle that occur with traditional litigation during the divorce process. Collaborative divorce is the antithesis of a traditional, litigated divorce. The Collaborative approach puts you in the driver’s seat, where you and your spouse/partner make the decisions for your family versus having a stranger judge make your decisions for you.
Carolann Mazza is a family law attorney specializing in collaborative family law. She offers divorce services in South Florida in – Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties. She has years of experience in this practice helping her clients part ways without decimating their finances while maintaining mutual respect for one another.
Collaborative divorce- why it’s the best method yet
Divorce is an agonizing process touching on almost all facets of peoples’ lives. Some people have never fully recovered from the fierce legal battle of divorce litigation. If the process is too contentious and messy, kids involved may suffer mental health issues years after. Some people see their property and investments disappear to pay legal fees. It is therefore in the best interest of all involved to dissolve the marriage as amicably as possible.
Point by point benefits of Collaborative Divorce
A limited number of Attorneys: The number of attorneys per spouse is reduced to the minimum—usually, one attorney per spouse. The process is less complicated and time-consuming as a result.
Effective Decision Making: Decisions affecting the family and its finances are made solely by the participants. There is accountability from both participants to own up to their words and actions.
Reduced Costs: legal fees are significantly lower. The divorce process does not drag on endlessly, and therefore the overall costs are less than litigation.
Financial deliberation and assistance: couples can sit down with a neutral financial professional and have a civil discussion about property division. The professionals help to build options, making it more likely a consensus will be reached.
Reduced Emotional turmoil: meetings promote openness and mutual respect, leading to less anger and resentment.
Openness can promote healing: During discussions and negotiations, participants have an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings on essential things. The result is mutually beneficial solutions and accelerated recovery from the trauma of divorce.
Mental health assistance: Family lawyers in the Collaborative Divorce process work with mental health specialists to cater to the spouses and their kids’ emotional well-being.
Privacy that safeguards reputation: due to the private nature of Collaborative Divorce proceedings, both participants’ reputation is left intact. Court processes are open to the public and embarrassing and private information commonly leak to the public and the press, damaging the reputation of the divorcees.
Reduced Timing: The simplification of divorce through the collaborative process significantly reduces the time taken to conclude the separation. Most divorce proceedings will be over within a few months.
Positive long-term effects: In troubled marriages, most issues are either ignored or swept under the carpet until they explode during the divorce. In the Collaborative process, these issues, such as poor financial management and differences in child-rearing can be addressed directly for the good of all involved. The whole process may lead to behavior change creating reasonable and responsible people on both sides.
To benefit from Collaborative Divorce, you first have to pick the right professionals competent in the practice and who have your interest at heart. Carolann Mazza promises to be that professional.
Step by step guideline of the Collaborative Divorce process
Approach and Hire your attorneys
The best way to hire an attorney is to find an attorney who aligns with your values Pick attorneys that are skilled negotiators, trained in the Collaborative Process as opposed to overzealous combative ones.
Meet with your attorney privately
Meet privately with your attorney so that she will have a complete understanding of your interests and goals. Your attorney will help you have reasonable expectations and will help you prioritizewhat is important to you.
Conduct Four-way meetings
The Collaborative Divorce process is conducted via a series of meetings involving you, your attorney, and your spouse/partner, and their attorney. These are called Team meetings. The discussions and negotiations will include neutral professionals such as communication facilitators, child specialists, and financial professionals. These neutral professionals work directly with the clients to help solve child issues, ascertain property values, and help create options on how best to divide it
Signing of agreements
With each milestone agreed upon, participants will sign binding agreements so that the process moves forward. The first agreement to be signed is a “no-court” agreement, called a Participation Agreement, which ensures that both attorneys will withdraw from the case if negotiations should collapse and courtroom litigation is sought.
Signing of divorce papers
The process concludes with the official filing of uncontested divorce papers and a brief appearance in front of a family judge. This part of the process is simple and uncontested.
Important roles played by Collaborative Divorce professionals.
Financial Professionals, such as CPA’s, Financial Planners
These professionals assist the participants in gathering documents, determining property values, creating options as to how property will be divided, including sharing of assets and liabilities and post-separation responsibilities.
This professional helps the participants address issues arising from emotional stress during the Collaborative Divorce process. They help the participants keep a level head during negotiation, making the discussions more efficient and effective. They assist parents in developing a parenting plan post-separation that will be the running blueprint in co-parenting.
While most parents say their children’s well-being is the most important thing, during divorce, the children’s needs are often forgotten because both parents are caught up in their own “stuff.” The child specialist help keep the focus on the developmental needs of the children, continuing to make the children’s needs a priority in the divorce process
They offer professional guidance on child issues, maintenance, and timesharing.
Collaborative divorce helps you determine all the details of separation. It is an out-of-court process option for people divorcing where professionals act as advisors, leaving the decision-making to the clients. It is a much healthier process than traditional court litigation.