Divorce Collaborative Law

Getting Divorced After Age 50? Consider Collaborative Divorce

Written February 27th, 2013
Categories: Divorce Collaborative Law, Divorce Trends

Collaborative Divorce After Age 50People in Palm Beach County recognize that divorces are never easy.  Divorcing after 50 can certainly complicate matters. Couples from Jupiter to Wellington tend to have more earnings and estate issues than younger couples. This does not mean, however, that the process can’t be cooperative. Let’s look at a few reasons why Collaborative Divorce benefits older couples.

  • Cost: A collaborative divorce is more cost effective than litigation. Each person involved hires an attorney and the decision-making process is focused on problem solving. Attorneys and individuals are all present and involved, reducing the communication time needed to make decisions and therefore the cost of attorneys’ time.
  • Decision-making:  Emotions usually run high in divorce but decision-making should be done with open communication and balance. An attorney or other “divorce coach can assist the parties in managing stress and emotions” says trained Family Law Mediator Tracy A. Timby, JD,MS. “This allows parties to make clear-headed, forward thinking decisions instead of critical financial or personal decisions based on the heat of the moment.”
  • Children: Many couples over fifty have children, pre-teens to young adults, who will be affected by how they deal with their divorce. According to Merck Family Home Health Handbook, “Children adjust best when parents cooperate with each other and focus on the child’s needs” the Handbook suggests, “Whenever possible, parents should live close to each other, treat each other respectfully in the child’s presence, maintain the other’s involvement in the child’s life, and consider the child’s wishes regarding visitation.” When parents work collaboratively, such as this, children have a much greater chance of working through their grief productively.
  • Privacy: Many people are unaware that a litigated divorce is a public event. Both divorce files and court appearances are open to public view and examination. Disclosed records usually include financials such as income, investments, debt, credit history, mortgage due and home value. While in litigation, attorneys will openly report accusations, involvement with substance abuse and other high-conflict issues. A collaborative divorce is private. Only the final agreements are filed in public records.

Divorce at any age is challenging. Considering collaborative divorce has many benefits, no matter what age. To read more about this topic click here or here.

Seven Benefits of Collaborative Divorce Versus Traditional Divorce

Written April 17th, 2012
Categories: Divorce, Divorce Collaborative Law, Uncategorized

People from Jupiter to Wellington are searching for other alternatives to a traditional divorce.  There are many reasons to use the collaborative divorce process if your spouse is willing and your family is a good fit for the process.  The following advantages describe some of the benefits of the collaborative divorce:

1. The process is generally less costly than litigation.  A collaborative divorce does not use competing experts and the parties are not wasting their financial assets by constantly litigating in court;

2. The process is generally less time-consuming.  The collaborative case can frequently be completed within four to six meetings versus six months to two years that a contested case may take to be resolved in Palm Beach County;

3. An atmosphere of cooperation reduces the psychological/emotional stress that accompanies traditional divorces.  The parties set out a contract which contains a set of governing rules as to how the spouses, attorneys, and other professionals and participants interact during a collaborative divorce.  This process minimizes the abrasive conduct that may be present in many traditional cases;

4. Each party has the assistance of an attorney.  In many divorces today, not all parties have the assistance of an attorney to guide them through the process;

5. Each party is a vital part of the settlement team.  Both spouses are treated as critical components of the team which focuses on settlement.  The spouses, the attorneys and the professionals are not adversaries.  All participants are seeking a resolution that meets the needs of the family;

6. The team can focus on settlement without the imminent threat of “going to court”.  The parties and their attorneys sign a participation agreement that states that the spouse and their lawyers will not take their divorce to court.  This contractual clause eliminates tactical bargaining based on threats of litigation; and

7. The spouses control the outcome.  Rather than a judge deciding a family’s parenting and financial futures, the parties themselves negotiate with the assistance of the other participants in the process a Marital Settlement Agreement.  The decision-making power stays with the husband and the wife.

The collaborative process focuses on interest-based bargaining.  In a collaborative divorce case, the participants focus on the underlying concerns, needs, and interests of the parties.  The traditional litigation model usually involves position-based bargaining, where each side commits to a position early in the litigation and only thinks of their own position and attaining their own goals, and attaining their own wants and needs, regardless of the impact on their spouse or their children.  Whether you live in West Palm Beach or elsewhere in Palm Beach County, you should consider a collaborative resolution of your divorce or other legal dispute.

How to Save More Money in a Collaborative Divorce

Written April 3rd, 2012
Categories: Divorce Collaborative Law, Divorce Finances

Separating the marital assets of a couple is often complicated and costly. Working towards that goal through a collaborative divorce may feel daunting but with the help of an attorney, it can reduce costs over traditional litigation. Want to cut costs even further? Take the advice of Richard Price, a collaborative law attorney from Texas.

By following any of these recommendations, you will cut down the amount of time needed from your attorney, thereby reducing your fees.

1) Organize your financials: Palm Beach County requirements for financial disclosure in a divorce originate from the state law. The documents needed include tax returns, bank and credit card statements, and personal property lists and may include more complicated items such as brokerage statements or property and estate documents. Be sure to present the copies in a timely and organized fashion when requested by your lawyer.

2) Have an agenda when meeting with your attorney: Make the most of every minute with your attorney by being prepared. Be ready with a list of issues that have occurred since your previous meeting and questions that you would like answered.

3) E-mail first and keep it on-point: Communicating by telephone adds time to communications. Social standards for civil behavior require that pleasantries be exchanged before business can be discussed, wasting valuable time. An e-mail allows you to get to the point quickly and keep your issues brief. Take some time to edit your communication to just the essentials before hitting send. There’s no need for fluff here.

4) Combine your questions: Instead of calling or e-mailing your attorney every time you think of a question or comment, communicate less frequently but with more content each time. Keeping a small notebook in your briefcase can help. When questions occur to you, write them down and then combine several into one time-saving e-mail.

Keep in mind, each of these items deals with clear and concise communication. Whether you reside in West Palm Beach or Wellington or elsewhere in Palm Beach County, practicing the skills will help your lawyer be more effective with your time. Saving you money.

Can Divorce be Collaborative?

Written January 18th, 2012
Categories: Divorce Collaborative Law, Uncategorized

Can divorce be collaborative?When couples get married, they begin with a commitment to live a life together, as partners and confidants. They work together to run a household, maybe raise a family and check off a few “bucket list” items along the way. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, life companions arrive at a mutual decision to divorce. They are amicable. They share respect. Would a Collaborative Divorce benefit them?

Southeast Florida residents can legally divorce through a Collaborative Divorce. To collaborate simply means to work together or cooperate. So a Collaborative Divorce involves each spouse, along with their respective lawyers, working out the details without going into litigation. This brings couples to resolution in less time and with more pennies in their pockets than with traditional methods. Every time a divorcing couple steps into the court room, the time and fees, not to mention stress, increase.

What makes a Divorce Collaborative?

  1. Both spouses agree to negotiate issues in a non-adversarial way, working constructively and fairly.
  2. They commit to stay out of the courts.
  3. They willingly disclose information that is needed for the case.
  4. Lawyers manage the process.
  5. Neutral professionals, such as psychologists and/or financial advisors, may be brought in to assist.

If this sounds like a possibility or you would like to find out more about Collaborative Divorce? Check out this informative site: International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP).