Jacksonville, FL Collaborative Law Attorneys

A Non-Adversarial Approach to Resolving Family Law Matters

Family Law Book and GavelThe prospect of facing a divorce, separation, or other family-related issue is taxing enough in its own right. When you add in other stressors such as going to court, waiting for scheduled hearings, and last-minute filings from the other party, the process can become almost too much to bear.

Fortunately, Florida is one of many states that recognize the concept of “collaborative law” for resolving divorces and other family law disputes. Unlike the traditional adversarial process, collaborative law allows for and encourages amicable resolutions outside of the courtroom. The collaborative process is also often substantially less expensive than traditional methods.

About the Collaborative Law Process

In a collaborative law divorce or other collaborative law resolution, the parties commit to engage in good-faith discussions and negotiations in order resolve their differences without filing a lawsuit in court. Each spouse (or other family member) still each has his or her own attorney, but the parties agree to work together to reach a resolution rather than battling out their differences through litigation. This allows the parties to resolve issues such as property division, child support, and custody and visitation rights without the need for final approval or a decision from a judge.

In order to confirm this agreement and establish certain other parameters and expectations, the parties start the process by entering into a formal written “participation” agreement to adhere to the collaborative process. If either party breaches the agreement, they will be required to hire a new attorney to represent them in court. This gives everyone a stake in the process including the attorney. We lose a client if we can’t get you settled and so does your spouse’s attorney.

What You Can Expect to Achieve

Once the participation agreement is in place, the parties will begin working together to reach mutually agreeable terms to resolve their differences. The goal is always to end the process with 100% of the issues resolved. Depending on the parties’ family and financial circumstances, this may involve bringing in accountants, therapists, or other professionals to help provide clarity on certain points. If the parties appear to be reaching an impasse, a neutral mediator may be called upon to keep the process moving forward.

In the end, a collaborative law resolution allows all parties involved to:

  • Establish the terms of the collaborative process
  • Maintain confidentiality by avoiding the court system
  • Avoid the strains and often-irreversible damage caused by adversarial litigation
  • Have the final say on all aspects of the final resolution

How Beller & Bustamante, P.L. Can Help

Attorneys Rebeccah Beller and Mina Bustamante have more than 40 years of combined experience in civil and family law matters. They have deep insight into the various factors that can influence divorces and family law disputes, and they are intimately familiar with both the legal and practical implications of winding up in court. They are firm believers in the collaborative law process, and can help you decide if it makes sense for you.

Once a decision is made, Beller & Bustamante, P.L. will guide you through the process and provide zealous and compassionate representation every step of the way. Our goal is the same as yours: to help you achieve a fair, cost-effective outcome that minimizes the burdens on you and your family.

For More Information, Contact Beller & Bustamante, P.L.

If you are facing a divorce, separation, or other family law issue and prefer to avoid going to court, a collaborative law resolution might be right for you. To learn more about the process or to schedule an initial consultation, contact Beller & Bustamante, P.L. online or call us at (904) 288-4414 today.