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Alternative dispute resolution methods for divorces

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2016 | Divorce |

While divorcing couples in Florida may often go into negotiations hoping for a swift and amicable resolution, they sometimes find it difficult to avoid being drawn into heated exchanges when the matters being discussed turn to alimony or property division. Family law courts provide a venue where these matters can be settled in a definitive and legally binding way, but many couples are choosing instead to explore alternative means of resolving their differences.

Traditional divorce litigation has a number of drawbacks. Spouses involved in a prolonged court battle have no assurances that they will be happy with the eventual outcome, and legal bills can mount quickly when negotiations fail and cases go to trial. Court testimony is also almost always a matter of public record, and people may be reluctant to risk their reputations should accusations begin to fly.

Alternatives to litigation such as collaborative divorce and mediation are designed to be more constructive and less adversarial, and negotiations are conducted in private to encourage a frank and open exchange of views. Mediators provide an independent perspective and are tasked with helping divorcing spouses to settle their differences through empathy, discussion and compromise, and collaborative divorce proceedings include financial, mental health and legal professionals to help spouses to cope with the pressures and help them to make decisions that will benefit them in the years ahead.

Another way to avoid potentially expensive and emotionally damaging legal disputes is to settle them long before relationships deteriorate and positions become entrenched. Experienced family law attorneys may explain how prenuptial agreements may actually make marriages more robust by eliminating the uncertainty and fear that can undermine a relationship when left unchecked. Attorneys could also suggest postnuptial agreements to married couples who wish to avoid being drawn into bitter conflicts should they one day choose to divorce.