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Alternatives to formal litigated divorce in Florida

You could be a Florida resident who is thinking about divorce and wondering how you might best proceed.

If that describes you, you are certainly not alone. Obviously, many marriages end in divorce, and divorcing parties in a good number of those often wonder how to optimally go about formally dissolving a marriage. What process will make the best sense in your case?

That answer will vary based on individual circumstances. Some divorcing couples retain overt hostility right up until their divorce decree, and after, often necessitating the intervention of a judge and legal process to work out divorce details.

Others, though, might find that one or a combination of what are commonly termed alternative dispute resolution techniques might work especially well for their dissolution. Two of the most common ADR processes -- which contrast in material ways to the formal adversarial process that plays out in court before a judge -- are collaborative divorce and mediation, respectively.

Family law pundits -- experienced attorneys, counselors and other professionals -- will readily counsel that an ADR-employed technique/process is not for everyone and that some self-educating needs to be undertaken prior to any decision to proceed with a mediated or collaborative divorce. Sometimes there is simply no other route than that provided via a courtroom to definitively settle disputes and move forward.

For some couples, though, proceeding in an alternative manner that stresses -- as do ADR processes -- cooperation to the fullest extent possible and an amicable working toward solutions can be edifying and also help salvage some degree of family amity following dissolution.

And there are a host of other potential upsides to boot, as related by many couples. An ADR process is often cheaper than a litigated divorce and enables a couple to exercise more control over the process.

A Florida divorce attorney experienced in both aggressively litigated divorces and ADR-focused outcomes can provide further information.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Why a collaborative divorce makes financial sense," Geoff Wiliams, Aug. 19, 2013

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