The goal of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods when it comes to divorce is to resolve a number of pressing family law issues without forcing spouses to go to court. A relatively new ADR method called "collaborative divorce" is now being tried out in Florida, and it appears that such a process will be subject to a number of regulations.
The process involves the hiring of a collaboratively trained attorney while agreeing to resolve various family law and divorce disputes without actually going to court. A neutral facilitator will sit in on such matters and focus on the future of the family unit. Such a neutral may be assisted by various professionals such as accountants when it comes to matters such as property division and other complex financial matters.
Parties can withdrawal from such a collaborative process if it appears the matter will remain unsettled, or if either party feels it necessary to have the matter heard in court. If a withdrawal from the collaborative process is made, however, the clients will then need to retain new attorneys if the decision is made to bring the case to court.
This is just one of many options that couples now have when seeking a divorce. It may work for some couples, and it may not work for others. It must be kept in mind that no two divorces are the same, and therefore each matter requires its own approach. Families are different, finances and marital property are unique for each couple, and the needs of children will need to be looked at separately.
Before deciding on any particular means of achieving a divorce, it's still best to consult with someone like a family law attorney that fully understands all of your options.
- Tampa Bay Business Journal, "Divorce takes on collaborative feel in Hillsborough courts," by Jane Meinhardt, September 7, 2012
- The Tennessean, "Frists work to make divorce less painful," by Irwin J. Kuhn, September 18, 2012