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Law Offices of Gale H. Moore, P.A. Marital & Family Law
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Collaborative vs. Traditional Divorce in Florida: What Are the Differences?


At first glance, you might think the term “collaborative divorce” is a contradiction. After all, isn’t the point of divorce to fight it out with your spouse over the breakdown of the marriage? While that may be the way the media tends to portray some high-profile cases, the reality is that most divorces–even traditional ones that rely on litigation–are resolved through some sort of negotiated settlement. Collaborative divorce simply represents a different way of achieving that goal, one that promises less acrimony and less time spent battling it out before a judge.

How Collaborative Divorce Can Benefit You and Your Spouse

In a collaborative divorce, each spouse works with their own trained collaborative divorce lawyer to reach a mutual settlement agreement that benefits all sides. Unlike other forms of negotiation or dispute resolution, in a collaborative divorce everyone is expected to work together to solve problems. The lawyers are not there to promote disagreement or sow discord. In fact, if you later decide the collaborative law process is not working and wish to pursue a traditional divorce, your attorney is required to withdraw from the case. You must then obtain new counsel to handle your traditional divorce.

Another critical aspect of collaborative divorce is that both sides are expected to provide full and transparent disclosure of their financial and other information relevant to the proceedings. In traditional divorce litigation, both sides can spend months–sometimes even years–fighting over discovery requests and trying to pry information from the other side. This cannot happen in a collaborative divorce.

Along similar lines, collaborative divorce does not involve the use of depositions or adversarial expert witnesses. Anything said within the collaborative divorce process is considered confidential and privileged under Florida law. This means that nothing said or disclosed can be used as evidence against the other party in a traditional divorce lawsuit. This includes any advice solicited from an outside expert, who is usually jointly be retained by the parties and their attorneys.

Contact Florida Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Gale H. Moore Today

When the parties are willing and able to put in the work, collaborative divorce can be enormously successful. By some estimates, about 85 percent of all collaborative divorces in Florida end with a full agreement between the parties resolving all outstanding issues. Even in cases where a full agreement is not reached, collaborative divorce can still help get you closer to a resolution, even if a traditional divorce may still be needed to deal with the remaining issues.

It is also important to acknowledge that collaborative divorce is not right for every situation. If your marriage has broken down due to domestic violence or a complete lack of trust between you and your spouse, a traditional divorce is likely the way to go. Keep in mind, even in traditional divorce you can still negotiate a potential settlement, albeit under a more adversarial system than collaborative divorce.

If you would like to learn more about collaborative divorce and whether it might be right for you and your spouse, call the Clearwater divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Gale H. Moore, P.A., today at 727-584-2528 to schedule a consultation.

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If you are considering divorce or have another family law concern, contact the Law Offices of Gale H. Moore today to schedule a consultation. Skilled and experienced representation from a Clearwater divorce attorney is your best means to protect your interests and secure your future.

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