Nassau Florida Family Law & Divorce Blawg > Collaborative Divorce Is Not For Everyone

Posted on August 10, 2013


From Jan Flemmons, Esq.:

While I am a whole-hearted believer in the collaborative divorce process, collaborative divorce is not for everyone.For example, collaborative divorce only works if both attorneys are properly trained in collaborative divorce techniques, if there is no history of domestic violence between the parties, both parties can trust the other party, both parties understand how collaborative divorce works, and each party agrees follow the rules.Further, in a true collaborative divorce, if the parties are unable to reach a settlement in the collaborative process, both parties must retain new attorneys and start over.Their collaborative attorneys cannot represent or serve as a mediator to either party during future divorce proceedings.

Attorney Training

Attorneys who practice collaborative divorce have received training on the collaborative process and the techniques required to help both parties reach a settlement.Usually, a collaborative divorce attorney will not choose to participate in a collaborative divorce if the opposing attorney is not trained in collaborative law/divorce.

Domestic Violence

If there is a history of domestic violence between the parties, collaborative divorce is not appropriate.The collaborative divorce process is based upon an even power distribution between the parties.Domestic violence indicates an unequal bargaining position of one of the parties.Therefore, domestic violence eliminates parties from the collaborative divorce process.

Trust Opposing party

Similar to domestic violence, the parties must trust each other throughout the process.If the parties cannot trust each other, there is unequal bargaining power and the collaborative process is not appropriate.

Understand and Become Dedicated to the Process

Both parties must understand how the entire collaborative law process works from start to finish.Both parties must be dedicated to the process.The collaborative process includes several meetings between the parties and their respective counsel.Each party and their attorney must be dedicated to the process and the meetings.

Follow the rules

If the collaborative divorce fails, then both parties must start over with new attorneys.

One of the biggest “cons” of a true collaborative divorce process, is the fact that if the parties are unable to reach an agreement through the collaborative divorce process, the parties must start over in a standard divorce process.The collaborative attorneys are prohibited from representing either party (or serving as a mediator for the parties) in dissolution proceedings.The reasoning behind this “rule” is that because of the collaborative process, each party and their attorney knows the facts of the case and the particular wants and needs of the opposing party.

Read more at Nassau Florida Family Law & Divorce Blawg.