Navigating Divorce and Family Law Legal Disputes Out of Court
Florida’s Family Courts have remained open during the pandemic to hear and decide emergency petitions related to children and families. Many court proceedings are being conducted either telephonically or by video conference. You should expect family court proceedings to continue electronically until all public spaces reopen for full use by the state’s citizenry.
Naturally, all other non-emergency cases have been stalled, or proceeding slowly as many court functions as well as court personnel act in a limited capacity. As the state’s family courts open and new matters start getting processed, understand that your own divorce or family court proceeding will be delayed. Do not get anxious, though. There are ways to adjudicate or decide a divorce or family law legal dispute out of court and for such a decision to be binding on the parties.
Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures in Lieu of Litigation (part I)
The Collaborative Process is a peaceful alternative to litigation. In the Collaborative Law model, husband and wife and their lawyers agree in advance that no one will take any contested issue to court. The “Collaborative Team,” which often includes mental-health and financial professionals, focuses its attention on finding ways to restructure the family so that everyone involved gets their needs met to the greatest extent possible. The lawyers on this team should be family lawyers with experience and training in Collaborative Law. If a husband and wife decide to follow the Collaborative Law road to divorce, they must sign an agreement that they will share all information available to them about their property and children. They agree to work together with their attorneys and other professionals to come to a mutually arrived at solution that meets both of their most important goals and concerns. In the event that they are not able to settle their cases using the Collaborative Law model, litigation attorneys can still take the case to court, but the Collaborative Law Team cannot continue to represent them.
The Collaborative Process takes place within series of team meetings, comprised of the Collaborate “team”. This teams is made up of each individual along with his/her attorney, a mental health professional serving as facilitator and a financial neutral, if necessary.
Each team meeting has an agenda outlining what issues will be discussed at the particular meeting. This allows for a predictable and efficient method of resolving the family law issues relevant in the particular case.
This process is confidential, allowing participants to shield their personal matters and final agreements from the public record. Although the Collaborative Process is taking place outside of Court, all agreements entered into by the participants are legally valid and recognized by Courts. Once the Collaborative Process has come to an end and all relevant agreements have been finalized and executed by the participants, a Final Judgment is submitted to the Court ratifying and making said agreements Order of the Court. This process is well-suited for all family law related issues that would benefit from avoiding prolonged exposure to the negative effects of litigation.
Our practice areas include: divorce, paternity, child support, modification and enforcement of orders, relocation, domestic violence, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements, high-asset divorces, and marital property division.
If you have questions about your rights in the event of a family law issue, or are considering getting a divorce, contact Dana Pechersky’s Law Office at 954-529-2057.