Tampa Family Attorney S. David Anton, Esq.
In a collaborative divorce both spouses and their attorneys agree, in writing, to use their best efforts to negotiate a settlement of their divorce action. Both attorneys and both spouses have considerable incentive to conclude a negotiated settlement of your case because part of the written agreement requires both attorneys to withdraw from the case should settlement negotiations reach an impass and contested litigation follow. If a non-attorney expert, such as an accountant or appraiser, be needed then typically a single person is chosen by both sides. The expert will provide unbiased assistance, will favor neither side, and will owe no allegiance to either side. Documents and information must be freely and honestly exchanged. If a resolution is reached, a Marital Settlement is signed, an uncontested divorce action is filed, and a short uncontested final hearing concludes the divorce action.
The collaboritive divorce concept was first established in the Tampa Bay area in the early 1990′s and S. David Anton, Esq. was a founding member of the first collaborative law group. Initially the collaboritive law movement was unsuccessful as a whole and led to few settled cases. However, with leaner economic times and an increasingly stressed and innefficient court system, collaborative law is justifiably making a comeback. Mr. Anton is now a member of the Tampa Bay’s newest collaborative Law Society named the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay.
A collaborative divorce is not appropriate for every case or every married couple. Some cases can be easily settled without the need to institute the collaboative process. On the other end of the spectrum, successful collaboration requires both spouses to deal both honestly and reasonably with each other. A spouse should fully discuss the appropriatness of this process with their attorney befor signing a collaborative divorce agreement.
SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF A COLLABORATIVE LAW CASE ARE:
- Less current acrimony typically resulting in a healthier and more cooperative future relationship (most important when children are involved).
- A shorter process (we only have so much time here and, if revenge is necessary, the best revenge is living well)
- A considerable potential financial cost savings
- Avoiding the use of an impersonal and congested court system
- You control the process and your fate, not a some stranger (judges will never know as well as you do what is right for you and your family)