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COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE

The Collaborative Process is...

An alternative to traditional litigation, which allows individuals to handle their family law case “as a team outside of court rather than “as adversaries”  in court. A common misconception is that parties must be amicable and have zero conflict for this process to be right for them. While families seeking to preserve an amicable working relationship with a soon to be former spouse may naturally gravitate towards this option and with good reason, the collaborative process is also best suited in instances where the parties have high conflict and are unable to effectively communicate. With the help of a highly trained group of professionals, complex, high conflict cases can navigate towards an effective and efficient resolution while bypassing the shortcomings that plague these types of cases in Court.  The Collaborative Process can be used to help resolve many different types of cases including divorce, alimonyestablishing paternitychild supportpre and post nuptials, and modifications to agreements.

The Collaborative Process became part of Florida Law on July 1, 2017, when the Collaborative Process Act  and the Rules of Procedure became effective making it a legal route available to families who wish to choose this option. This act provided individuals a legitimate and legal process by which to reach peaceful resolutions through voluntary settlements not involving litigation.

How it Works

In the Collaborative Process, the participants begin their case by hiring a team of multi-skilled professionals who assists in resolving their case from all the angles present in family law cases: legal, financial and emotional.
 
Utilizing this team dynamic, allows the participants to have all their questions and concerns addressed, no matter the topic. Handling family cases in a team setting avoids miscommunication and minimizes exposure to the costly nature of traditional litigation, while also preventing exposure to the negative impact litigation has on families and minor children involved.

Here’s an overview of the collaborative divorce process :

  1. Choosing Collaborative Professionals – Each participant selects their own collaboratively trained attorney. These attorneys are committed to resolving disputes through negotiation rather than litigation. Additionally, other professionals such as facilitators, financial experts, child specialists, or therapists may be involved to provide specialized guidance and support.
  2. Initial Meeting – The participants, along with their respective attorneys and neutral team members, review and sign the participation agreement which establishes the ground rules and expectations for the process. Once the participation agreement is fully executed, the process officially begins.
  3. Information Gathering – The participants, their attorneys and neutral team members, work together to gather all the necessary information related to the issues at hand, such as financial documents, parenting plans, and other relevant details. This ensures that everyone has a comprehensive understanding of the situation and can make informed decisions.
  4. Joint Meetings – The participants, along with their attorneys and neutral team members, meet in joint sessions to discuss the various issues and interests involved in their family law case. These meetings focus on generating options and exploring potential solutions that meet the needs and interests of both participant. The collaborative professionals help facilitate productive discussions and guide the process.
  5. Negotiation and Agreement – Through a series of joint meetings, the participants negotiate and work toward reaching agreements on matters such as property division, child custody and visitation, spousal support, and any other relevant issues. The focus is on finding mutually acceptable solutions that take into account the interests and priorities of both participants.
  6. Finalizing the Agreement – Once the participants have reached agreements on all the necessary issues, their attorneys assist in drafting the formal legal documents reflecting the terms of the agreement. The agreements are reviewed and finalized by the participants and submitted to the court to become official Orders of the Court.
  7. Final Step – Once all necessary documents have been filed, the case is ready to be scheduled for an uncontested final hearing where the divorce becomes official and the case is finalized through the entry of a final judgment.
  • the two participants;
  • each participant’s collaboratively trained attorney;
  • a mental health professional serving as a neutral facilitator and;
  • a financial professional serving as a neutral financial.
  • The process includes a series of team meetings where issues are resolved one meeting at a time.
  • All meetings include an agenda, to maintain organization and efficiency of the process.
  • Once all matters are resolved, agreement(s) are prepared and executed at the final “signing” meeting.
  • Once all documents are signed, a complete resolution packet is submitted to the court to obtain a Final Judgment signed by a Judge.
Individuals having to embark on a legal family case are often at odds with one another and not in the best of places to communicate and resolve their differences. Unfortunately, traditional litigation often leads to more misunderstanding, more miscommunications, and ultimately results in unecessary litigation, emotional unrest and excessive attorney’s fees.
 
The Collaborative Process is perfectly suited to avoid the negative dynamics of litigation. By setting parameters for transparent communications and efficient negotiations, the Collaborative Process allows individuals to navigate their case effectively and effciently, while excluding the shortcomings common in traditional litigation. Most importantly, this process, equips individuals with the necessary tools to avoid subsequent litigation in the future.
The Collaborative Process allows participants to shield personal details of their case and agreements from the Public Record.

Types of Cases That Can Be Handled Collaboratively

DIVORCE

Avoid litigation and tackle issues such as equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, alimony, child support and time-sharing issues with the support of a holistic team of professionals.

ESTABLISHMENT OF PATERNITY

Issues such as Parental Responsibility; TImesharing & Parenting Plan; and Child Support can all be addressed using the Collaborative Process.

MODIFICATIONS

If you need modifications to your existing Child Support, Timesharing & Parenting Plan, or Alimony agreement, the Collaborative Process is an ideal option to ensure all parties get a fair outcome.

PRE & POST NUPTIALS

Since they can be awkward or adversarial at times, couples looking to get a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement should consider getting it done through the Collaborative Process.

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Tri-County Collaborative Network

ATTORNEYS

BROWARD COUNTY

Castillo & Falconi Law
2645 Executive Park Dr #513
Weston, FL 33331
954-278-7158
melissa@cflawfl.com
www.cflawfl.com

Castillo & Falconi Law
2645 Executive Park Dr #513
Weston, FL 33331
954-278-7158
gabriela@cflawfl.com
www.cflawfl.com

Divorce Made Easy, Inc.
1624 Monroe Street
Hollywood, Florida 33020
954-476-7111
Amgg-Law@ Giustibelli.com
www.amgglaw.net

KWG Law
6750 N. Andrews Avenue, Suite 200
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
954-695-6512
kristen@kwglaw.net
www.kwglaw.net

Hassan Law, PA
490 Sawgrass Corporate Parkway, Suite 310
Sunrise, FL 33325
954-881-8820
attorney@hassanlawpa.com
www.hassanlawpa.com

Carolann Mazza, P.A.
12 SE 7th St #704
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
954-527-4604
carolann@cmazzalaw.com
www.collaborativenow.com

Dana Pechersky, Esq.
2200 N. Commerce Parkway, Ste 200
954-529-2057
Contact@danapechersky.com
www.divorcelawyerinweston.com

Law & Mediation, LLC
3001 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Suite 304
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
954-874-2935
Contact@LawAndMediationLLC.com
www.LawAndMediationLLC.com

Family Matters Law Group, P.A.
6950 Cypress Road, Suite 107
Plantation, Florida 33317
954-900-1331
NHauser@FMLGPA.com
www.FMLGPA.com

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

Marital & Family Law Attorney, Krystine Cardona, P.A.
9990 SW 77th Avenue, PH-14
Miami, Florida 33156
305-549-8111
Krystine.Cardona@kcpafamilylaw.com
kcpafamilylaw.com

Robert J. Merlin, PA
95 Merrick Way, Ste 420
Coral Gables, FL 33134
305-448-1555
www.merlinlaw.com

MONROE COUNTY

Barroso Law
3158 Northside Drive
Key West, FL 33040
305-507-9093
yanae@barroso-law.com
www.barroso-law.com

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Law Office of Luz D. Nieto, Esq.
7000 W. Palmetto Park Road, St. 210
Boca Raton, FL 33433
561-807-7663
lnieto@nietofamilylaw.com
www.nietofamilylaw.com

Johnson, Ritchey & Feldman, PA
2424 N Federal Highway, Suite 166
Boca Raton, FL 33431
561-392-4400
critchey@jrflawfirm.com
www.jrflawfirm.com

Shapiro, Blasi, Wasserman & Hermann, P.A.
7777 Glades Road, Suite 400
Boca Raton, Florida 33434
561-477‑7800, ext.220
jwasserman@sbwh.law
www.sbwlawfirm.com

COLLABORATIVE FACILITATORS

BROWARD COUNTY

Evergreen Therapeutics
786-475-5992
caroline@ctbtherapy.com
www.ctbtherapy.com

My Counseling Connections, Inc.
817 S University Dr STE 121
Plantation, FL 33324
tammy@mycounselingconnections.com
www.mycounselingconnections.com
The Family Network, Inc.
Collaborative Center for Positive Growth and Change
3325 South University Drive, Suite 202
Davie, FL 33328
954-236-4490
thefamilynetwk@aol.com
www.familynetworkflorida.com

Directive Energy
2455 Hollywood Blvd. Suite 122
Hollywood, Fl 33020
954-925-9071
atomchin@directiveenergy.com
www.directiveenergy.com

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

Lana M. Stern Psychologist/Marriage & Family Therapist
305-448-5006
www.drlanamstern.com

MONROE COUNTY

Evergreen Therapeutics
786-475-5992
caroline@ctbtherapy.com
www.ctbtherapy.com

PALM BEACH COUNTY

2200 NW, Corporate Blvd NW Ste 406
Boca Raton, FL 33431
561-445-2028
drcandice@drcandicesaketkoo.com
www.drcandicesaketkoo.com

FINANCIAL NEUTRALS

BROWARD COUNTY

JD Gilbert & Company
800 Fairway Dr #420
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
Phone: (954) 419-1000
Ari@jdgilbert.com
www.jdgilbert.com

Luana Mobley Corral
2699 Stirling Road Suite A200
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312
Phone: (954) 302-6321
luana@lmcorral.com
www.lmcorral.com

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

Ed Sachs CPA
1770 NE 191 Street Suite 405
Miami FL 33179
(305) 610-2395
ed@edsachscpa.com
www.edsachscpa.com
VMBG Accounting
7900 Oak Lane, Suite 400
Miami Lakes, FL  33016
(954) 456-7474
carey@vmbgaccounting.com
www.vmbgaccounting.com

To find other Collaborative Professionals in your area, click on one of the following:

BROWARD COUNTY

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Collaborative Process Testimonials

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