Divorces in Florida and around the country often become contentious, and even spouses who had hoped to reach a rapid and amicable agreement can be dragged into bitter disputes over matters such as property division and child custody. Unpredictable and costly court battles are generally the outcome when couples become so entrenched in their positions that negotiated settlements become impossible to reach, but alternative approaches including collaborative divorce have become more popular in recent years.
Each spouse will generally have their own attorney to assist them during traditional divorce negotiations, but an independent financial expert and a neutral facilitator are added during collaborative divorce discussions. These individuals are present to keep negotiations moving and on track, and additional experts may be called in to help the spouses involved tackle particularly thorny issues or place an accurate dollar value on assets that are difficult to appraise like rare art or complex investment portfolios.
During collaborative divorce talks, the focus is often put on identifying the long term goals of the spouses and developing strategies designed to make achieving them possible. Keeping delicate personal matters private is another benefit of avoiding court, and the facilitators during these discussions are often trained mental health professionals with a background in conflict avoidance and resolution.
Couples who wish to avoid contentious divorce negotiations may also opt to enter into prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. Experienced family law attorneys may be able to draft prenuptial agreements that are essentially fair and likely to withstand judicial scrutiny. When no such agreements are in place and even collaborative divorce discussions have failed to yield an amicable settlement, attorneys may argue on behalf of their clients in court.