Collaborative Divorce or Going to Court — Which is Right for you?
Nobody wants to go through the divorce process. It’s long, drawn-out, exhausting, and difficult. In some cases, though, it’s the best thing for all parties involved.
What many couples don’t realize is that there are a few different ways to get divorced in Florida.
As a general rule, couples can choose between a collaborative divorce and a litigated divorce. The first is a divorce agreement in which the partners work together to agree on assets and custody. The second enlists the court system to help spouses reach a solution. Here’s what you should know about collaborative divorces and divorce court, and how to decide which is the right fit for you.
The Collaborative Divorce
A solution-focused approach to separation, a collaborative divorce allows couples to avoid the courtroom. This method focuses on cooperation and working together toward the best outcome for both parties. Collaborative divorce is more time-efficient than litigation and establishes communication traditional courtroom litigation lacks.
Here are a few indicators that collaborative divorce might be right for you:
- You and your spouse are on speaking terms. If you and your spouse still have an amicable relationship, you may be able to work together to come to a collaborative divorce agreement. Creating this amiable space often lends itself to a faster resolution.
- You have few assets, or you agree on the division of them. Spouses who have not been married long, or who have very few assets are good candidates for collaborative divorces. Reasonable requests and measured responses are crucial to ensuring this process is successful.
- You agree on a co-parenting plan. Changing how a family communicates, operates, and relates is one of the most challenging processes of any divorce. If you and your spouse agree on what to do with minor children, though, that’s a first step. From there, you may only need light help from a divorce attorney to put an amicable co-parenting plan in place.
Collaborative divorce is often much less expensive and time-consuming than going to court. When you can reach agreements together on topics like the division of assets, property, and custody, the entire process is more comfortable and smoother for everyone involved.
The Litigated Divorce
Often, couples cannot agree on the terms of their divorce. In these contested scenarios, litigation is ideal. Below are a few instances where divorce court may be beneficial:
- The partners are not communicating. Litigation is a good fit for couples who cannot talk and cooperate.
- There are unreasonable requests. Sometimes, a spouse will make an unreasonable request. Often enough, experienced lawyers have a solid understanding of a judge’s decision before entering the courtroom. When unreasonable or unattainable expectations are presented by one side, litigation may provide the most equitable solution.
- There are areas of ongoing contention. Division of property, spousal support, child support, and parenting plans are commonly contested. When there is consistent disagreement on how these issues will be resolved or divided, a third party is the best solution. Sometimes, we can only get so far before we need the help of an objective judge to decide where the middle ground is.
- There are substantial assets at stake. Couples who have significant assets, either in the form of real estate or cash holdings, should seek out the help of a judge and divorce attorneys to create an equitable divorce resolution.
Contact the Coral Gables Divorce Attorneys at Estevez-Pazos
If you are unsure if litigation is the right avenue, or if a collaborative process may work for you, contact our team of divorce attorneys at Estevez-Pazos Law Firm today. We have seen firsthand what the divorce process can look like, and can help you through this challenging time. Please give us a call for a free, no-obligation consultation at (305) 717-7130.