Collaborative or High-Conflict Divorce-Which Will It Be?

- Gary E. Williams

When you decided to leave your spouse, you started preparing yourself for the challenge ahead. You went on the web and did some research to get basic information about your options under Florida divorce law.

You found that Chapter 61 of the Florida Statute contains just about everything you need to know from a legal perspective about divorce. The statute defines terms like equal distribution, parental plans and modifications just to mention a few.

However, the statute can’t predict how your divorce case might go. In your research, you found an article in Forbes magazine that discussed a new concept called collaborative divorce. The article explained that you can shorten the time to complete the legal process and save money at the same time in a collaborative divorce. In general, here’s how it works:

  • Both of you retain separate, qualified and trained attorneys to advise and guide you in reaching an equitable settlement.
  • You, your spouse and both attorneys sign an agreement that requires both attorneys to drop the case if you cannot agree or if one side threatens legal action.
  • Even if you succeed, you’ll probably have to go to family court so a judge can sign the agreement.

Unfortunately, though, you know the person you’re married to very well. Your soon-to-be-ex is more combative rather than collaborative so saving time and money just won’t have any appeal. Your ex just wants to win, no matter what.

So, before you get mired in a painful struggle with your spouse, talk to a high-conflict divorce attorney. He or she has resources, including trained counselors, who just might be able to influence your spouse to collaborate and spare the family the upheaval of a high-conflict split.