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Collaborative divorce is a purely voluntary dispute resolution process that both parties to a dissolution of marriage proceeding can participate in. The parties either agree to collaborative divorce, or they don’t, the divorce proceeding is heard by a judge. If they do agree to collaborative divorce, an agreement is entered to avoid the burden and expense of a court case. That agreement is signed off on by both the clients and their attorneys. Whether or not a legal proceeding has been initiated is irrelevant.

Agreeing to Participate in Collaborative Divorce

Central to collaborative divorce is the agreement to participate in it. The collaborative process is governed by Fla. Stat. Ch.61 section 56, et seq. Both parties must act in good faith in the negotiation act of the agreement. It sets the rules for the collaborative divorce process and the of rules of evidence that the parties will be required to follow for meaningfully participating in good faith. If a party to a collaborative divorce agreement wants judicial intervention on any issue, his or her lawyer must withdraw from the client’s representation. Any collaborative divorce agreement is terminable at the will of either party for any reason. Limitations are imposed on a party’s attorney after that.

Can We Change to Collaborative Divorce After a Divorce Filing?

Yes, you can change over to a collaborative divorce. The parties must be in agreement, and each must still be represented by their own attorney. A collaborative divorce agreement must be entered into and signed by the parties and their attorneys.

The Process

Once the agreement for a collaborative divorce is signed, the parties and their attorneys will have several meetings together to discuss the following matters:

  • Property settlement.
  • Child custody and visitation.
  • Child support.
  • Any spousal support.
  • Other relevant and material matters.

Florida Family Rule of Procedure 12.745 provides for timely and complete informal disclosure of all information and matters in connection with a collaborative divorce.


It should be the intention of the parties to be completely transparent and minimize hard feelings. With this transparency comes the desire to lay all assets and liabilities out on the table. As per the Florida Supreme Court, a goal of the collaborative process is to preserve the working relationship between the parties to a family law dispute. Even the costs of a collaborative divorce are shared from the assets of the parties. Matters can be worked out without the necessity, burden and expense of divorce court. If the parties hit difficult points, a facilitator or other professionals may be brought in to encourage cooperation and good faith.

If the party to a marriage wants to try a collaborative approach to divorce, it’s important for him or her to consult with and retain an attorney who is highly trained and experienced in it. Contact our law firm for more information on consulting with and retaining a Florida collaborative law attorney.

We Take Your Divorce Seriously.

Robert Sparks Attorneys takes your divorce seriously. If you live in Tampa, you want Robert Sparks Attorneys advocating for you.

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