Can I Get Divorced Without Going To Court In Florida?
If you are considering a divorce in Florida, you may be looking for alternatives to a traditional, highly-contentious, courtroom divorce process. Often the first question we get from clients is whether they can get divorced without having to go to court. Not only does the traditional courtroom divorce process involve expensive litigation, it can put you at odds with someone you will have to co-parent with for years if you have shared children, rack up high legal fees, and make everything a matter of public records. Additionally, it puts all of your most personal matters in the hands of a judge who doesn’t know you. Luckily, there are alternatives. Collaborative divorce and divorce mediation are both methods that allow you and your spouse to dissolve your marriage amicably without ever having to set foot in a courtroom.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce and divorce mediation have a lot in common. In a collaborative divorce, each party retains an attorney, and over the course of a number of negotiation sessions they arrive at mutually agreeable terms. Once they have settled on the terms of all aspects of their divorce, the divorce agreement will be drafted, signed, and submitted to the court for approval. It should be noted that if collaborative divorce negotiations are unsuccessful, the parties must start over in court with new attorneys. For many, this is a strong incentive to arrive at a decision.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation involves a neutral third-party who may be a lawyer, former judge, marriage counselor, or someone with a different kind of background, who is trained in dispute resolution and works to guide you and your spouse to mutually agreeable terms on all aspects of your divorce over the course of several sessions. You and your spouse may each have your own attorney, and your attorney can be present to represent you and advocate for your interests during mediation sessions. Once you have arrived at mutually agreeable terms on all aspects of your divorce, the agreement will be drafted, reviewed by both of your attorneys, and submitted to the court for approval. If you are unable to agree on all aspects of your divorce, you do not have to start over. Instead, the terms you have agreed to may be drafted and submitted to the court, and the remaining terms may be litigated. For this reason, divorce mediation is often beneficial and rarely a waste of time. It is especially beneficial to couples with shared children who will have to continue to co-parent, as the process can teach them how to productively and collaboratively make decisions.
Talk to an Orlando Divorce Lawyer
If you are considering divorce and want to avoid the courtroom, talking to an Orlando collaborative divorce attorney can help you determine what method may best fit the needs of you and your family. Contact the Greater Orlando Family Law Firm today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you take the next step forward as painlessly and efficiently as possible.