Divorce is not the most pleasant experience. It represents an end to something that was once, presumably happy, and the process can lead to hurt feelings. When there are children involved, they may feel isolated and confused.
There is often times heartbreak and there may be a lot of pain, but going through a divorce doesn’t need to be a battle or leave both parties feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
There are three divorce options in the State of Florida that are designed to make getting a divorce easier. Most importantly, having an amicable divorce can protect your children through an otherwise difficult time and save you time and money.
The three types of amicable divorce options are:
1. Divorce Through Mediation
Mediation helps each spouse to come up with their own unique resolutions rather than seeing what the court imposes. This type of divorce is a cost-effective and time-saving alternative to formal litigation, which costs a lot more money and can take a few months or more.
Divorce through mediation can assist with different kinds of disputes, such as child custody arrangements and co-parenting or dealing with dividing marital property. The benefits of mediation include:
- A more time-efficient and cost-effective process than a traditional divorce
- A less-expensive alternative to court trials and hearings
- A confidential process with no public record of the mediation session
2. Uncontested Divorce
Terminating the marriage within days instead of weeks and months, is a benefit of an uncontested divorce. It costs much less than a contested divorce, and both parties can create agreements that work for their situations rather than leaving it up to the judge to decide. Both parties must agree with every issue of their marriage, such as custody and visitation, alimony and child support. The parties sign a Marital Settlement Agreement, which must then be approved by the court before it becomes part of the divorce decree.
Similar to the uncontested divorce, is the collaborative divorce. Both parties have to agree to the issues of their marriage and decide to bypass a typical litigation. This type of divorce places the children’s best interests first, and both spouses work together with their attorneys and a mediator to reach an agreement on all the issues related to the divorce. A collaborative divorce is obtained by the following steps:
- Both spouses must agree to the collaboration before starting the legal portion of the process. Afterward, the parties establish a participation agreement, which outlines the commitments in the divorce.
- The spouses and their attorneys sign a contract that commits to resolving the issues related to the termination of marriage without going to court. Everyone involved works together to arrive at a mutually acceptable settlement.
- Both parties act in the best interests of the children to promote positive relationships with the divorcing spouses and to minimize any emotional effects.
If either spouse ignores the participation agreement and pursues outside legal representation or court, the collaborative attorney must end his or her representation of the client.