Winter Park Collaborative Divorce Attorney
Winter Park Collaborative Divorce Law
When many people consider divorce, they tend to picture two angry spouses yelling and pointing fingers at one another across a courtroom. Divorce is often assumed to be an acrimonious process that leaves ex-spouses unwilling to communicate or cooperate and bitter about custody, property division, or alimony determinations. Contrary to popular belief, it is often possible to obtain a divorce — even when children or many assets are involved — with minimum hostility, maximum good will and results that benefit all parties, especially the children. This can be a possibility even in situations in which spouses are not on the best terms at the start of the process, but agree to seek a mutually beneficial outcome. One key tool for achieving such a result is collaborative divorce.
At Sperling Ducker we are well-equipped to guide you through Florida’s collaborative divorce process. We prepare our clients by discussing “needs” versus “wants,” and we stay at your side through the entire divorce process. If you think that collaborative divorce may be right for you, we can discuss the process and benefits with your spouse to see if they may agree to participate. We can even recommend an Winter Park collaborative divorce attorney for your spouse to contact. Overall, we provide any support that is needed to make your collaborative divorce as successful as possible.
Reasons to Avoid a Traditional Legal Divorce
In the typical contested divorce case, the couple must leave the decision-making up to a judge.
These cases are expensive, take an incredible amount of time and are extremely emotional. Often, spouses will have to testify regarding very personal matters and may try to tarnish the other’s reputation to gain the upperhand. Common topics in open court can include finances, affairs, and instances of poor decision-making. In addition, expert testimony may be needed to sway the court’s opinion. Each spouse has to hire his or her own expert witnesses to give opinions on custody, parenting plans, child support, spousal support and property distribution. Tensions are high, and solutions seem impossible.
Even in those cases where both sides are represented by experienced, professional attorneys and where the trial includes days of testimony and thousands of pages of evidence, the judge can never know the situation as well as the family. It is often said that a good decision from a judge is one where both parties are unhappy. By leaving decision up to the court, you are letting go of any control you have over the matter. Court decisions are binding and final and an you may feel the effects of an unfavorable decision for years to come.
This is not your only option.
Benefits of the Collaborative Law Process
When clients choose a collaborative law approach for their divorce they want to avoid many of the pitfalls of a more typical dissolution process. At Sperling Ducker we will work with you to find a better way.
The Collaborative Law approach involves a formal agreement with your spouse, who is typically also represented by another attorney. The couple, along with both attorneys, agree to try resolve the issues in the divorce as a team. This means that while attorney-client communication is protected, information about the marriage is shared freely and openly without the need for costly motions or depositions. Spouses and their attorneys will not have to spend time seeking financial documents or other important information as both sides should come into the process willing to be honest about all pertinent information.
While expert opinions may still be helpful in this setting to resolve certain issues, spouses can hire neutral experts together to weigh in. Instead of having two different experts battling in court with opposite opinions, a couple can spend half as much money and trust that the neutral expert will have both of their interests–and that of the children–in mind. If the spouses are having difficulty agreeing throughout the process, which can be common, professionals can also be brought in to help facilitate compromise and cooperation.
The benefits of this type of arrangement include:
- Gives both spouses significantly more control over the outcome of their case
- Use of a single set of experts maximizes resources
- Professionals who are focused on working together to find the best solution for the family
- Healthy transitions for each and every family member
- Reduced stress
- Increased privacy because agreements are made outside of the public court hearing and motion paperwork
- Faster resolution of the issues
While the benefits of a collaborative divorce are many, the motivation for this approach generally comes from clients who have a strong desire to protect their children. This comes from the understanding that even though the parties will no longer be married, they will continue to have a connection with each other for the rest of their lives. From the child’s perspective, a future of sporting events, school plays, graduations, weddings and births will be much more enjoyable if he or she knows their parents can be in the same room together and not fight. Settling divorce matters in a cooperative and collaborative manner can help set a foundation for positive parenting in the future.
Working With a Member of the Collaborative Family Law Group of Central Florida
While collaborative divorce can be very beneficial, the process to get to a successful resolution can be complicated and can require the assistance of different professionals and negotiators. It is essential that you have an attorney on your side who fully understands the collaborative divorce process and who is qualified to represent you throughout your collaborative divorce.
Mr. Ducker is a member of the Collaborative Family Law Group of Central Florida. As a member of this association, he has received specialized training related to this solutions-based approach. The group includes other lawyers, mental health professionals and financial advisers.
Mr. Ducker is also a member of a number of interdisciplinary and international associations for professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict. His memberships include:
- International Association of Collaborative Professionals (IACP)
- Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)
- Parental Alienation Awareness Organization
With all of this training and education, you can trust that Mr. Ducker can skillfully assist you throughout every stage of the collaborative divorce process and will always aim for the most favorable outcome for you and your children.
Is Collaborative Law Right for You? Contact Our Office Today
If you want to settle your divorce issues as amicably as possible, you should consider the possibility of a collaborative divorce. At Sperling Ducker we take pride in our ability to find solutions for the entire family. We welcome your questions about this approach to resolving family law disputes and will use all the tools at our disposal to help you reach your goals. Please contact our Winter Park collaborative divorce attorney or call us at 407.645.3297 today for a flat-rate consultation. We can meet with you either at our offices or the location of your choice.