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Collaborative Divorce

Florida is now the 14th state in the United States to adopt a unique version of the Collaborative Law Act

Early in March of this year Bill 972 and companion House Bill 967, The Collaborative Law Process Act and The Collaborative Law Process Act for Families’ Privacy Protection, made its way through the Florida Legislature and Senate, and was signed by Governor Scott on March 9, 2016 and came into effect on July 1, 2016. But what does this mean now for collaborative divorces in Florida?

Through collaborative divorce, the parties will each have a family lawyer present during all negotiation and settlement proceedings. Both parties need to take a voluntary approach during this process and all information will be kept confidential. Sometimes, mental health professionals act as facilitators during this process to help both parties remain focused and limit any conflict. A financial expert may also be required when settlements and negotiations are part of the financial matter, including anything related to:

  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Income
  • Expenses

Financial discussions can be the discussion with the most conflict, so having experts involved helps to make this easier for all parties involved, including the children.

What This Means Now for Collaborative Divorce in Florida

Now that the Bill has been passed, the state of Florida has the legal framework to help families involved in the collaborative divorce process easily resolve matters of dispute out-of-court. All family law matters that reside under certain Florida Statutes (61 & 742) including:

  • Divorce matters
  • Alimony matters
  • Child support matters
  • Marital property matters
  • Debt distribution matters
  • Child custody matters
  • Visitation matters
  • Parental relocation matters (with a child)
  • Prenuptial agreement matters
  • Postnuptial agreement matters
  • Paternity Matters matters

Nearly a dozen different types of arrangement can now be resolved using the collaborative law process.

Companion House Bill 967 & Your Privacy

Since July, hundreds of families in Tampa and around the greater Tampa Bay area have already chosen to use the collaborative process. The passing of both of these bills simplified the resolution process and also provides an increased sense of security when it comes to privacy and confidentiality during divorce proceedings and other family-related matters.

What’s The Purpose of Collaborative Divorce?

Florida couples and their divorce attorneys can utilize the uniform collaborative process to:

  • Start legal proceedings
  • Resolve and settle divorce, custody and other family matters easily, quickly and peacefully
  • Start voluntary settlement procedures such as litigation
  • Reduce emotional and financial stresses of litigation using a conflict-reducing method
  • Settle out of court
  • Learn how to settle future disputes after divorce or separation

If you are considering using Collaborative Practices to resolve your marital dispute, contact Quinn Family Law, P.A. for further information at 813.223.7739 or fill out this form and we’ll be in touch soon.