Clearing Up Four Misconceptions About Collaborative Divorce in Florida
Going through a divorce in Pinellas County? You may be considering using the collaborative law process. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes §61.56(3)), collaborative law is “a process intended to resolve a collaborative matter without intervention” from a traditional court. It can be a great option for many divorcing couples. At the Law Office of Gale H. Moore P.A., we have deep experience with collaborative law. Here, our Clearwater collaborative divorce attorney dispels four of the most common misconceptions about the process in Florida.
Myth #1: Collaborative Divorce is the Same Things as Mediation
Not true. Although many people think collaborative divorce is just another name for mediation, that is not the case. While both processes aim to resolve disputes outside of court in a non-adversarial manner, they are wholly distinct processes. In mediation, a neutral third party helps the couple find a middle ground. In collaborative divorce, each spouse has their own attorney, they sign a participation agreement, and they work collaboratively to resolve their divorce. In some cases, independent experts (financial advisors, child specialists, mediators, etc..) are retained to help.
Myth #2: Once You Enter the Collaborative Divorce Process, You Have to Stick With It
Not true. Some believe that once you start a collaborative divorce, you cannot back out. In Florida, you are not required to reach a resolution through the collaborative divorce process. Either spouse can choose to stop the process at any time. However, if this does occur, the collaborative lawyers must withdraw from the case. Each spouse may hire a different attorney to pursue a traditional divorce in court. Still, collaborative divorce is a voluntary process.
Myth #3: You Cannot Use Collaborative Divorce if You Have a Lot of Conflict
Not true. To be sure, collaborative law will not be successful unless both spouses are willing to operate in a good faith manner. Nonetheless, it is a myth that collaborative divorce only works for couples with little conflict. In reality, it can be effective even in high-conflict situations. The process is designed to manage disagreements in a constructive way. Indeed, skilled professionals help guide the conversation, keeping it focused and respectful.
Myth #4: It is Very Risky to Be Transparent in the Collaborative Divorce Process
Not true. There are many people who worry that being open and honest in collaborative divorce is risky. They fear that their words could be used against them later in court. However, Florida law protects the confidentiality of the collaborative divorce process. Indeed, this is one of the key things that sets the collaborative law process apart. What you say in these meetings cannot be used in court if the process does not work out. Collaborative law is designed to encourage honesty and openness between spouses who are working towards a divorce settlement.
Contact Our Florida Collaborative Divorce Attorney Today
At the Law Office of Gale H. Moore P.A., our Clearwater, FL collaborative divorce lawyer is a compassionate, experienced, and solutions-focused advocate for clients. Our firm solves problems. Contact us today for a completely confidential case review with a top-tier attorney. We provide collaborative divorce representation in Clearwater and throughout Pinellas County.