Every year, numerous couples in Florida decide to call it quits on their marriages. Every year, some of those couples spend time looking for ways to make the divorce process as painless and easy as possible. If you are ending your marriage and you want to avoid court and have a real say in what you will walk away with, a collaborative divorce may be for you.

How does collaborative divorce work? Do I have to use an attorney who specializes in this type of dissolution process? What if collaboration does not work out? These are some common questions people need answers to before diving into the collaborative divorce process.

How does it work?

If you choose this form of divorce, it means that you and your spouse agree to resolve all issues relating to your divorce settlement outside of court. This does not mean you cannot have legal counsel help you; it just means you want to keep litigation off the table.

If you choose a collaborative divorce, you, your spouse and both parties’ legal counsel will set up negotiation sessions wherein divorce terms will be set. Depending on each spouse’s willingness to negotiate, the negotiations process may only take a couple of sessions or it can take several. It will be different for every couple, but at the end of the day, it will usually save people time and money over a litigated divorce in the long run.

After you and your spouse agree on divorce terms, you can sign the papers and send the dissolution agreement to court for approval. If, for some reason, the court does not approve of the divorce terms, you and your spouse can revisit the areas with which the court took issue.

Is a collaborative law specialist needed to complete this type of dissolution process?

Not necessarily. Most family law attorneys know that all parties have a lot to gain by keeping a divorce private and out of court. Those individuals who do not want to go to a collaborative law specialist can look for legal counsel who encourage collaboration over litigation.

What if it does not work out?

Some couples may never be able to reach agreeable terms on every aspect of their divorce settlement. If the collaboration process is not getting you anywhere, then litigation may be the only answer. While working out a fair divorce settlement outside of court is preferable, there is no shame in going to court when it is necessary.

Collaborative divorce can be a better way to dissolve a marriage, and most couples who try it do find success in the process.