Florida Collaborative Divorce: The Participation Agreement
Many divorcing couples want to find a way to end their relationship on reasonably amicable terms. While divorce is often portrayed by the media as a fierce, combative fight, it does not have to be that way. Many couples are able to work together to resolve their differences and find points of common interests.
Through Florida’s collaborative divorce process, couples get access to a legal procedure that helps to facilitate cooperation and mutual agreement. If you are considering getting a collaborative divorce in Clearwater, FL, you and your attorney will be required to abide by an official collaborative law participation agreement. Here, our legal team explains the implications of that agreement.
Florida Collaborative Divorce and Non Litigation
Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 61.56), couples who are using the collaborative divorce process to end their marriage are required to “sign a collaborative law participation agreement” and to seek representation from a “collaborative attorney”. Among other things, a collaborative law participation agreement will include a non-litigation clause.
To be clear, this clause will not permanently close off your right to litigate your divorce case at some point in the future. However, it will require you to stay all pending litigation and it will require you to refrain from filing any new claims against your spouse while you are still using the collaborative divorce process. If you do wish to litigate your case or either party suddenly files a new claim, the collaborative divorce process is over. Your collaborative attorney is legally required to withdraw their representation immediately.
Your Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Cannot Represent You in Litigation
One of the most important things that you need to know about Florida’s collaborative divorce process is that your collaborative lawyer can only represent you within this cooperative proceeding. He or she cannot represent you in any future litigation related to your divorce case. The benefit of this requirement cannot be underestimated. This rule allows the collaborative lawyers to be singularly focused on finding an amicable solution to the case. It allows your lawyer to devote all of their energy towards settlement making that likelihood increase significantly.
Collaborative Divorce Proceedings are Confidential
Generally, all discussions and documents involved in the collaboration proceedings are strictly confidential. This aspect of the process helps to create the best environment for cooperation and the finding of mutually agreeable solutions. The confidentiality provision included within a collaborative law participation agreement allows both parties to be open and honest while trying to reach a settlement.
Speak to a Clearwater, FL Collaborative Divorce Attorney Today
At the Law Office of Gale H. Moore P.A., our compassionate collaborative divorce lawyer is a skilled, effective advocate for clients. If you are considering divorce in Florida and you want to explore your options for a collaborative divorce, we can help. For a fully confidential family law consultation, please call our Largo law office today at 727-584-2528 or reach out to us through our website.