WHAT IF COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE DOES NOT WORK
Collaborative Divorce has been around for over 30 years and is one of the best, most cost-effective ways to get divorced in Florida. If you have children, collaborative divorce is the best way to protect your children from the harmful effects of divorce. When people choose collaborative divorce, they are choosing PEACE instead of WAR.
Unfortunately, sometimes collaborative divorce does not work.
So, if you choose a collaborative divorce and it does not work for you, what happens?
Let us first examine why collaborative divorce might not work for some people.
LACK OF HONESTY
A collaborative divorce begins when two people sign a contract called a “Participation Agreement.” This agreement memorializes their intent to peacefully settle their divorce.
LACK OF TRANSPARENCY
In order for a collaborative divorce to work well, it is imperative that each spouse comply with the requirement to be transparent. Being transparent about the children and the finances is a bedrock component of collaborative divorce.
If a spouse or parent is unwilling to be transparent regarding the children or the family finances, the spirit of their collaborative divorce is damaged. The result will probably be a failed collaborative divorce.
I recently had a collaborative divorce case in which one spouse would not provide the financial documentation the other spouse wanted to see. When the spouse who requested the financial documents got tired of waiting, the collaborative divorce process was terminated.
LACK OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE COLLABORATIVE PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT
When a couple enters into a collaborative divorce process, they each agree to:
- Eliminate the negative economic, social, and emotional consequences of adversarial litigation
- Full and complete disclosure of relevant information
- Be respectful and constructive
- Timely, full, candid, and informal disclosure of information
- Provide funds as needed to pay for the fees and costs of the two attorneys, the financial neutral, and the mental health neutral
The following is a story from a recent collaborative case:
I represented the Wife. She was having some financial difficulty paying my attorney's fees. The husband, in direct contradiction to the collaborative participation agreement, refused to provide the funds necessary to pay for her legal fees.
Needless to say, I was unable to continue representing the Wife because she was unable to pay my fees. So, the couple's collaborative divorce process was terminated.
LACK OF COMMITMENT TO THE PROCESS
Some people select collaborative divorce or agree to a collaborative divorce based upon their spouse's suggestion. While they may agree to do a collaborative divorce, they lack the commitment to the process. They lack the commitment to do everything they can to make it work.
Here is a quick story of a recent collaborative divorce case I worked on. I represented the Wife free of charge. The Husband was also represented by another lawyer free of charge. Around the beginning of the negotiations, the Husband said “If I don't get everything I want, I will just hire another lawyer and go to court.”
Obviously, the Husband was not committed to the collaborative divorce process. Why? Because if he truly believed in the power of the collaborative divorce process, he would have been more willing to compromise and find some middle ground for settlement.
HIGH CONFLICT PERSONALITY TYPES
High conflict personality types often find themselves in legal disputes, including divorce. Borderlines, Narcissists, Histrionics, Sociopaths, and others are incredibly difficult to work with during a divorce. If one or both spouses have personality tendencies that fall into one or more of these categories, collaborative divorce may not work well.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE TERMINATES
When a collaborative divorce terminates prior to a full and complete resolution of all the issues, such as custody, visitation, alimony, and child support, the collaborative divorce attorneys are prohibited from continuing to represent the spouses.
So, they must withdraw and each spouse has to obtain a new divorce lawyer.
That does not mean that their new lawyers have to start from scratch, as some opponents of collaborative divorce would lead you to believe. Rather, much of the work completed in the collaborative divorce process can be used by their subsequent lawyers. The only thing that cannot be disclosed are confidential communications during the collaborative divorce process.
CONTACT A SKILLED, AGGRESSIVE, COMPASSIONATE AND EXPERIENCED ORLANDO COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE LAWYER TODAY
Starting a divorce can be difficult. Divorce is the second, most stressful event someone will ever experience. It is important to have a guide who can help you identify your rights and responsibilities that you might overlook trying to do it yourself. Having an attorney who focuses their practice 100% on family law and divorce is essential because you need a professional who understands everything about divorce. The anger, the fear, the betrayal, and the anxiety about your financial future.
Divorce and divorce-related situations is all we do here at Leap Frog Divorce. We're ready to help you today, and we have affordable options.