According to The Heritage Foundation, state and local governments spend about $150 billion a year on single-parent family structures. By comparison, only $150 million is spent on programs designed to strengthen marriage and the family unit. These are significant numbers for the future of marriage, parenting, and divorce.
When a marriage dissolves, the stakes are high for everyone involved. A problematic divorce can have a lasting impact financially, emotionally, and mentally on family members. While there is no simple solution to dissolving a partnership, there is a way to make the situation a little easier on everyone. At the Aikin Family Law Group, we use collaborative family law lawyers in Orlando to help our clients through the challenging process of divorce.
What is Collaborative Family Law
Orlando collaborative family law is a practice that allows all parties to come together, with their legal counsel, in an effort to reach an agreement without the conflict of traditional litigation. Studies on divorce, especially when it comes to children, reveal that parents who are at war create chaos for children, not the divorce itself.
When a couple takes a collaborative approach to divorce, the sudden shift in family structure is less stressful and more productive. The focus of using this style of family law in Orlando gives each side a chance to terminate a marriage with less financial erosion and family damage. This kind of progressive agreement preserves family relationships more respectfully.
The Process of an Orlando Collaborative Family Law Case
The first step in diverting a case from the traditional litigation path, into a case for collaboration, is for both parties to agree to enter into a “collaborative participation agreement.” This agreement is reviewed by both parties and confidentially protects each participant in the event the case proceeds to court.
The agreement will also require and encourage all parties to fully disclose all financial information that is relevant to the case so all factors are considered for the betterment of all. This might include sensitive information like financial records, medical records, expenses, mortgages, bank accounts, and more. Your attorney will be able to help you gather this information along with the details unique to your situation.
Your collaborative participation agreement will also call for acquiring new legal counsel in the event your case comes to an impasse. Each spouse is required to seek a new Orlando Family Law attorney for any future litigation.
Other Professionals in an Orlando Collaborative Family Law Case
At the beginning of your collaborative family law case, a mental health neutral and financial neutral will be selected. The entire collaborative team not only take some of the pressure off the spouses involved, but also help to make the process of decision-making easier.
During the course of your collaborative family law case, it may become apparent that other allied professionals, experts, or advisors may be needed in order for the couple to reach a final agreement. For example, when parents need to decide what the ideal time-sharing arrangements are for their children, there could be either conflict or unknowns about what is best. A child psychologist can help parents identify what their children need according to their unique lives. Here are some professionals that will often join a collaborative family law case in Orlando.
- The Child Psychologist – During the divorce process parents are typically looking to resolve some of the major factors of the marriage including homes, financial ties, and other assets. A child psychologist can be introduced to the process if the parties involved, including legal counsel, believe that the interests of the child(ren) become secondary. It is natural for this to happen, divorce is a complicated process and most parties have never had to consider how it will impact their family. The child psychologist will be able to make recommendations and keep children’s needs at the forefront of negotiations.
- The Financial Planner – Another common professional that joins collaborative family law cases is the financial planner. This individual can assist both parties in planning for their futures and the futures of their children. The expertise of a financial planner will also help you organize a budget for family expenses and any child support structures. Most families do not think twice about paying for certain aspects of their life, and the lives of their children, but this becomes incredibly important to plan for in divorce agreements.
- Business Evaluators – It is common for couples to have a family business or for one spouse to have some type of ownership in a business. A business can be one of the largest assets in a marital estate. If you and your spouse are unable to agree on a value for a business entity, a business evaluator is an allied professional who has the expertise to assist in providing you with an accurate evaluation.
The Aikin Family Law Group has a team of compassionate lawyers who help people every day with Orlando family law cases. We are confident that a collaborative approach will serve your best interests and the interests of your children. We know that you want the best for your family, and chances are, so does your spouse.
If you would like to get more information about the Collaborative Law Process, we encourage you to contact us now to set up an appointment.