You finally made the difficult decision that the marriage is over and you need to proceed with a divorce. However, you feel some trepidation by proceeding forward. Understandably, there are stories of divorce cases that have bankrupt families, have lasted for years and years in court with high levels of animosity frequently appear in the news. I’m sure you are asking yourself, “Is our divorce going to end up that?”.
- Experienced divorce attorneys know that 90 to 95 percent of all divorce cases settle. However, this is not a statistic that is well-known by the public.
- Most divorce cases settle on the eve of trial. The reason most cases settle at this point in time, is that because by the eve of trial, one or both of the divorcing spouses is too financially and/or emotionally exhausted to continue.
- If 90 to 95 percent of all divorce cases settle, then why does getting a divorce seem to be so costly in terms of parties' expenditures of emotional and financial resources during this process? The majority of the costs of divorce will occur in filing documents or arguing in court to obtain necessary financial information, affirmatively supporting a position in the divorce case, or defending a position in the divorce case. So how can divorcing spouses reduce these types of expenditures? Through collaborative divorce, a process by which parties work with a collaborative team of professional including their two divorce attorneys representing them, a neutral financial professional, and a facilitator (generally a mental health professional). The collaborative team works with the parties to ensure that they have a civil, respectful, expedited and cost-effect resolution for the parties. The neutral financial professional and the facilitator assist the parties in keeping the case on track effectively and obtaining all the necessary financial information, and finally providing options to the parties to resolve their issues.
- Many individuals are under the mistaken impression that a divorcing couple needs to have already reached an agreement on most of their issues in order to have a successful collaborative divorce. That is false. Experienced collaborative divorce attorneys and neutral professionals can assist individuals in obtaining a respectful and a cost-effective divorce, which will cause them less emotional turmoil and will be far less expensive to obtain.
Consequently, if you are seeking a divorce, please make sure that you discuss the above four factors with your prospective divorce attorney, even if there is a great deal of difference in the goals, opinions, and positions between you and your spouse. Attorneys and neutral professionals trained in dealing with collaborative divorce cases often take parties with contested issues and successfully guide them through the collaborative process. If your divorce attorney is not experienced in the collaborative process, you may wish to have a consultation with an experienced collaborative divorce attorney. Doing so may save you and your family tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, and may result in you and your spouse having a civil relationship after divorce, and possibly provide both of you a model of cooperating with each other on parenting issues in the future.
With 40 years of experience in family law, we hope this advice from experienced, Florida Board Certified in Marital and Family Law attorney, Charles D. Jamieson, Esq. offers some relief and provides a game plan to make the most of this holiday season – with or without your children.