COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW IN FLORIDA
DivorceSmart, Esq. is a law firm dedicated to helping people resolve disputes without destroying families and their finances. Attorney Temi Zeitenberg encourages use of the Collaborative Family Law process in divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, post-judgment, prenuptial, and other family law matters.
What is Collaborative Family Law?
Collaborative Family Law is a voluntary dispute resolution process in which parties settle without resorting to litigation. The process enables couples who are separating or ending their marriage to work with lawyers and other professionals, such as mental health professionals and financial experts. By doing so, couples can avoid the uncertain outcomes of litigating in court to achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children. The process is productive because it is done without the underlying threat of litigation.
Why choose Collaborative?
The main benefit of the Collaborative process is its cost efficiency for the parties involved. Since the necessary tasks in the collaborative model are assigned to specific professionals, there is less duplication of efforts and cost savings are realized.
The Collaborative process is confidential. All meetings, communications, and proposed settlements during the process are privileged and confidential. Discussions are held in neutral locations and not in an open courtroom for the public to see. This private environment allows both the clients and professionals to fulfill their agreement to be open, honest, and transparent toward one another.
How does the Collaborative process work?
The Collaborative process is simple, easy, and straight forward. First, the parties sign a collaborative participation agreement describing the nature and scope of the matter. Second, the parties voluntarily disclose all information which is relevant, necessary, and material to the matter to be decided. Third, the parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement. Fourth, each party retains a lawyer whose representation terminates if the collaborative process is unsuccessful. Finally, the parties may engage mental health and financial professionals whose engagement terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding. If necessary, the parties may jointly engage other experts as needed, such as a guardian ad litem or parenting coordinator.
Is Collaborative right for me?
If you want to settle your case without drawn out litigation and months or years of waiting, this is your solution. The Collaborative process is a refreshing team-oriented alternative. The traditional family law matter model pits the parties as opponents and against one another. Even lawyers can be antagonistic. Unlike traditional family law cases, attorneys in the Collaborative process are retained solely for the purpose of helping clients reach an agreement. The Collaborative process allows for unique, personal, flexible, and/or creative solutions to a family law matter that may not be an option in a courtroom. In the Collaborative process, the parties are encouraged to focus on the best interests of their family to reach their goals. Since the process is confidential, the parties are free to speak openly about potential settlement options.
Attorney Temi Zeitenberg is a member of the South Palm Beach County Collaborative Law Group, The Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and International Academy of Collaborative Professionals