Dividing up a household in divorce is expensive, so divorcing spouses are often looking to save money any way they can. Divorcing cooperatively and amicably can reduce many of the legal expenses of divorce, but some people are tempted to take this approach one step too far by leaving an attorney out of the process.

Even in a simple divorce, an attorney can save you money by helping you understand the long-term effects of your decisions so that you can choose the options that enable you to come out ahead. At West Family, we built our reputation resolving intricate, high-conflict marital disputes, but the lessons learned also enable us to create efficient, cost-effective solutions for couples who are divorcing amicably through a simplified process.

Divorce Through Cooperation Rather Than Conflict

We are all familiar with the traditional divorce scenario where each spouse hires an attorney and those attorneys fight to make the other party look bad and win points with the judge. Instead of taking this adversarial approach, couples who divorce cooperatively work together to develop terms they can both live with.

Before discussing those terms, however, each spouse should understand their legal rights with respect to property division, alimony, custody, and other issues included in the settlement. This is one reason why it is wise to work with an attorney. During the discussions, each spouse will probably need to give up something to get something else of greater importance. But you cannot negotiate successfully without knowing what you have the right to insist on or concede. You need information. You also need to take time to assess your priorities and goals for the future. The divorce attorneys at West Family Law Group will work with you to review the full range of issues that need to be settled during the divorce process, including some factors that often get overlooked. We provide the information you need to make effective choices and we can facilitate conversations that help you find common ground so reach mutually acceptable decisions efficiently and amicably.

The Need to Resolve Divorce Terms

Before you can file for an uncontested divorce in Florida, you and your spouse must agree on each and every issue in the case including:

  • Which property is marital property and which is your separate property
  • How you will divide up marital property
  • How you will allocate marital debts
  • Whether one spouse will pay alimony, and if so, how much and for how long
  • Parenting plans for custody, visitation, vacations, and other issues
  • Responsibilities for insurance and child support

When couples attempt to resolve these issues without legal advice, they tend to struggle, unless one spouse gives in to every demand of the other, in which case they put themselves at a disadvantage that can lead to long-term bitterness and a difficult situation in the years ahead, particularly when there are children involved.

Different Methods to Develop Solutions

Couples have different options for negotiating and settling the terms of their divorce besides the traditional litigation approach. They can work with a mediator trained to help them find common ground to resolve their disagreements. It is a good idea to first meet with an attorney to develop a plan for the settlement and understand the probable outcomes if the case were decided by a judge so that you know where you have power to negotiate. 

A mediator is a neutral third party, like a judge. But unlike a judge, a mediator does not have authority to make any decisions. A mediator works to lead parties to their own solutions, but the mediator cannot force either party to accept any solution.

Another approach is to use the collaborative law process. In a collaborative divorce, spouses and their attorneys meet to focus on building mutually advantageous solutions. While it helps to understand parties entitlements and rights under the law, discussions in the collaborative process do not focus on past actions or blame but rather forward-thinking resolutions for what will happen after the divorce.

Attorneys have the ability to think outside the box to develop beneficial plans because they are not focused on winning but on overall problem-solving. Each spouse receives legal advice and assistance from an attorney who is focused on protecting their interests but the goal is not to make the other side lose but to enable both sides to win.

West Family Law Group Protects Your Interests in Simple Uncontested Divorce

You will live with the effects of your divorce settlement for years to come, so it is crucial to develop terms that will not leave you bitter with regret. The dedicated team at West Family Law Group can help you understand your rights and establish terms that meet your needs in the short and long term.

To learn more about the ways we can protect your interests economically in a simple divorce, contact us today for a confidential consultation.