An Overview of the Collaborative Divorce Process Act
Most divorce couples want to find amicable, low conflict solutions. Few people truly go into a divorce wanting a fight. Although divorces certainly have the potential to turn nasty, fierce disputes can often be avoided. In Florida, there is a legal process called “collaborative divorce” that is designed to encourage separating couples to work together to reach a mutually agreed upon settlement.
The Collaborative Divorce Process Act is an important state law that structures and governs the marital separations through collaborative law. Here, our Tampa divorce attorneys explain three of the most important things you need to know about Florida’s Collaborative Divorce Process Act.
- All Communication is Protected and Confidential
One of the most important things to know about collaborative divorce in Florida is that the process is designed to be strictly confidential. What you and your spouse discuss within collaborative divorce cannot be disclosed or used against you in future legal proceedings. In fact, records produced within the collaborative law process are not subject to discovery requests. The purpose of collaborative divorce is to create an environment where parties can be truly open and work together towards a solution.
- The Process is Voluntary—Ends in One of Three Different Ways
In Florida, collaborative divorce is completely voluntary. In other words, you can leave the process at any time. You are not required to reach a settlement. The only rule is that your collaborative divorce lawyer cannot represent you in divorce litigation, should you choose to go that route. Under the Collaborative Divorce Process Act, attorneys to both parties must agree to withdraw representation should discussions break down. There are only three ways in which the collaborative process can end:
- The divorcing couple successfully reaches a final settlement agreement;
- One or both of the spouses decide to withdraw from the process; or
- A spouse files a legal motion outside of the process without the consent of the other party.
If you and your partner agree to enter the collaborative law process, you must agree, at least for the time being, not to take legal action against each other. If your spouse suddenly files a petition against you, the collaborative law process automatically ends. They have violated the agreement.
- Collaborative Law Can Be Used for a Wide Range of Family Issues
Divorce is complicated. Many divorcing couples have a wide variety of legal matters that need to be resolved—from property division and debt division to child custody and child support. Pursuant to the Collaborative Divorce Process Act, you and your spouse can use collaborative law to try to reach an agreement on all relevant family law issues.
Call Our Tampa Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Today
At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., our Florida family lawyers have the skills and knowledge needed to handle collaborative divorce cases. We will help you find an amicable, low conflict resolution to your divorce. Contact our law firm now for a strictly private initial consultation. We represent clients in collaborative divorce proceedings throughout Hillsborough County, including in Thonotosassa, Valrico, and Wesley Chapel.