The collaborative divorce process enables couples who have decided to divorce, separate or end their marriage to work with their lawyers and other family professionals in order to avoid the cost, stress and uncertain outcome of a contested divorce.
Here’s an extremely practical article about making personal judgments during a divorce. So many clients want their attorney to make both legal and personal decisions for them during a divorce, but an attorney’s advice should never be a substitute for personal values and goals. Be active in your case and ask questions to ensure that the outcome reflects what you value most. Family law and elder law attorneys follow the direction of their clients when they make legal decisions to protect their clients. The given direction, however, should always be determined by the client. The decisions that are made during a divorce are often difficult decisions. Attorneys are often well-versed in matters of divorce law and procedure. However, every client’s goals and interests are different, and the legal course of a case should reflect those goals and interests. Therefore, no matter how knowledgeable or experienced your attorney is, make sure to communicate information and ask questions as you proceed toward a divorce.
I recently received a call from a gentleman who was preparing for a divorce, and he was concerned about a custody issue. Interestingly, the couple had no children during the marriage. He wanted to understand his rights to custody of a pet, in this case a dog. In a divorce, the question often arises: Who gets to keep the family pet? Florida family laws are designed to protect the best interests of children in divorce. Based upon a myriad of factors, the court will determine what it believes to serve the interests of children due to social, economic, educational, emotional and other factors that will serve the children’s interests, and assign custody accordingly. Pets are not given to either of the divorcing parties based upon this standard. Rather, pets continue to be viewed by the law and courts as personal property. Therefore, the court will award the family pet or pets to one of the parties based upon the equitable distribution standard. Pets that were acquired by one of the parties prior to the divorce will …
A great deal of financial information and documentation can be needed in order to complete the divorce, depending on the extent of the marital estate and the complexity of the parties’ finances.