A collaborative divorce can help your patients but how can your patients choose a properly trained collaborative divorce attorney?
Florida has had a Collaborative Divorce Act since March 2016. Collaborative divorce is a non-adversarial process during which attorneys, a neutral financial professional, and a mental-health facilitator attempt to obtain information to create options from which a divorcing couple can choose the best solutions to meet their financial, property and child-related needs regarding their divorce.
Collaborative divorce consists of a series of private, confidential meetings which result in the negotiation of and signing of a marital settlement agreement. However, family law attorneys need training and experience in the collaborative divorce process in order to change from their traditional adversarial litigation courtroom model to an interspatial needs-based negotiation style where the needs of the parties are examined and options are created from which the divorcing spouses can choose the best result for their future needs and the future needs of their children.
Consequently, family law attorneys who are not trained and who are not experienced in this alternate dispute resolution method naturally and quickly revert back to their normal adversarial posturing, argumentative and "I'll see you in court" attitude and behavior. So how does one's patient find an attorney, who would be best prepared to guide them successfully through a collaborative divorce process?
The following is a list of questions that one should use when interviewing a family law/divorce attorney for a potential collaborative divorce:
- How long have you been involved with divorce/family/matrimonial law? Do you specialize in family divorces?
- For how many years have you been working with collaborative divorce cases? Approximately how many collaborative divorce cases have you been involved in?
- What training have you received in collaborative divorce?
- Beyond your initial/basic training, how many hours have you received in intermediate or advance training in the collaborative divorce process?
- When was your last training in collaborative divorce and what did it consist of?
- Have you worked with my spouse's attorney (if known) previously in a collaborative divorce case? If so, what has been your experience with his or her?
- Are you a member of a local collaborative divorce practice group and, if so, which one?
- Are you a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP)?
- Are you a member of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals (FACP)?
- What is the title of the last book you read regarding collaborative divorce or the collaborative process?
- Can you show me the books about collaborative divorce that you have in your office?
- What book would you recommend that I read regarding collaborative divorce?
- Where have you published any blogs, papers, books, or videos regarding collaborative divorce or the collaborative process and where can I find them?
- In your opinion, what are the main reasons that some divorce cases don't settle through the collaborative divorce process?
Providing these questions to your patient will assist them in finding a properly trained, educated, and experienced collaborative divorce attorney to represent them in their collaborative divorce case. Remember, that using a divorce attorney who is not educated, trained and experienced in the collaborative process will probably result in a failed collaborative case and undermine your client's desire for and ability to obtain a more therapeutic and healthy form of divorce.
If our office can be of any further assistance to you in explaining the collaborative law process, please feel free to contact us.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss your divorce, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312.