The Truth About a “Kinder, Gentle” Divorce Process
The mediation and collaborative law processes are often touted as the way to get a divorce while avoiding the typical horror stories we usually associate with getting divorced. I think these two avenues have great potential to leave behind the acrimonious divorce, provided divorcing couples understand who is really in charge when going through a divorce.
Whether it is litigation, mediation or collaboration, parties to a divorce need to realize from the beginning they are the ones in charge. Regardless of which process a couple chooses, the process of divorce itself will be as difficult or as easy as they choose to make it. In a Florida divorce, you can litigate, mediate or collaborate: the choice is yours.
Divorce has often been described as an emotionally traumatic event in someone’s life, equal to the death of a loved one—and in a sense, it is. We often don’t think clearly when we are dealing with strong emotions. It is understandable, then, why we can make our own divorce a difficult one.
Those who truly want to resolve their divorce in an amicable manner will do so regardless of whether there is a framework allowing this. Even in litigation, which I think of as the ultimate “hell” for a couple wishing to end their marriage, settlement negotiations are possible; uncontested divorces have always been available. Undoubtedly, mediation and collaborative law may make the process of divorce easier from the beginning stages of a divorce.
But, whether it’s settlement before or in the middle of litigation, mediation or collaborative law, the reality is that trust is an integral part of all three. But who or what to trust? If a spouse cannot trust the other enough to negotiate within any of the three frameworks, then what? This is where a process or framework is helpful, because then you can place your trust in the process itself to try and help you reach a settlement, keeping in mind that you are the one who has the ultimate power to decide during each stage of the process.
Your lawyer in any of the three processes is a team player, keeping you informed as to the process itself and the applicable law; and often providing you a valuable reality check. But you remain in charge. The truth is that if either you or your spouse do not want to end it amicable, you won’t, regardless of the different avenues available to you.
An uncontested divorce gives each of you the opportunity to take the high road, get the divorce done while avoiding a great deal of emotional stress, and may be the kindest divorce there is once the decision to get divorced has been made.
© 2010-2014 Vivian C. Rodriguez
Vivian C. Rodriguez is a divorce and paternity attorney in Florida. For articles about Florida family law visit, Articles about Florida Family Law. You may publish or share this article with others so long as you forward it in its entirety, including the copyright information. Thanks!
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