Florida Adopts New Collaborative Divorce Law

Divorce need not be a high conflict and stressful process if parties are able to peacefully discuss their parenting and financial plans in a non-combatant setting. Many US states, including Florida, have enacted a collaborative divorce law that aims to provide divorcing parties a more peaceful method of resolving important issues on their own.

Highlights of the Florida Collaborative Law Process Act

The new collaborative divorce law was approved as House Bill No. 967 entitled “The Collaborative Law Process Act”. Under its provisions, the spouses who desire to enter into a collaborative divorce must first execute a participation agreement. This prevents the collaborative attorneys representing each spouse from engaging in litigation in the event that the collaborative process shall fail.

Neutral Facilitators

Helping the parties throughout the collaborative process are neutral professionals who serve as facilitators for financial and parenting issues. The parties need not hire their own CPA or financial planner and can jointly engage the services of one who can help obtain complete financial disclosures and promote transparency between the spouses. The facilitator can also prepare the parties’ financial affidavits which Florida divorce law requires.

A licensed mental health professional can also help the parties use effective and respectful communication and teach ex spouses positive techniques for co-parenting.

Privileged Information

A key feature of the collaborative process is the veil of confidentiality that the new law provides. The privilege is similar to that enjoyed in an attorney-client or physician-patient relationship which generally prevents information communicated during the collaborative process from being used later on in litigation involving the same parties.

Effective Date of Collaborative Divorce Law

The new law requires the issuance of new rules of procedure for the implementation of the statute, to take effect 30 days after the Florida Supreme Court issues these rules.

Importance of Collaborative Divorce Attorney

If you are contemplating a divorce and wish to explore the less expensive and less traumatic process of resolving your divorce issues, then a collaborative divorce may be for you. Before anything else, it’s important to discuss your situation with an experienced collaborative divorce attorney who can assess your case and provide advice on all your legal options.

In Tampa, Florida, the full service law firm of the Anton Legal Group has over 30 years of family law experience, helping clients through various modes of dispute resolution such as arbitration, mediation, and collaborative divorce.

We welcome your call to us at (813) 443-5249 to arrange a no-obligation initial case analysis.