As we memorialize those who died while serving in the armed forces, we also thank the living men and women who protected our freedom.
According to Florida’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs, there are more than 1.5 million veterans living in the state. And, unfortunately, just like the rest of the population, many of those who served in the military face a dissolution of their marriage. Yet, many veterans do not know that there is a way they can go through divorce which is private, respectful, and, yes, even honorable.
Any veteran going through divorce should learn about the collaborative process.
In the traditional divorce process, disputes are resolved by a judge in a public courtroom; in the collaborative process, disputes are resolved by the spouses in private conference rooms.
In the traditional divorce process, an adversarial process dictates that spouses are “opposing parties” and their attorneys are “opposing counsel;” in the collaborative process, spouses are recognized as co-parents and their attorneys are collaborative colleagues and teammates.
In the traditional divorce process, attorneys present argument, submit evidence, and provide expert witnesses to show why their client is a better parent and the opposing party is a worse parent; in the collaborative process, parents use a joint neutral facilitator with a mental health licensure to help develop a parenting plan that is emotionally and developmentally tailored to their children’s needs.
In the traditional divorce process, countless depositions and hearings are held as each party conducts a fishing expedition into the other party’s finances; in the collaborative process, the clients retain a joint neutral financial professional to ensure transparency, develop options for family support and division of property and debt, and help the clients transition into single life on a firmer financial footing.
In the traditional divorce process, the most important factor is the law; in the collaborative process, the most important factor is the family and its values.
Divorce is difficult, and if you can save your marriage, you should. But if your marriage is truly irretrievably broken, then you can dissolve your marriage honorably via the collaborative divorce process.
Adam B. Cordover practices exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution. He is co-author of an upcoming American Bar Association book on Building A Collaborative Law Practice. He is past president of Next Generation Divorce, Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group, and he trains attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals in the collaborative process.