St. Petersburg Collaborative Divorce Lawyer
Collaborative family law offers an innovative, alternative approach to resolving the issues in a divorce or other family law matter. The collaborative process requires a strong commitment and buy-in from all the parties and their attorneys, but the end result is an amicable resolution that meets the needs of both parties in a lasting, functioning framework. The St. Petersburg collaborative divorce lawyers at Meros, Smith, Lazzara, Brennan & Brennan, P.A., are spearheaded by Belinda B. Lazzara, a certified Collaborative Law attorney who is additionally Florida Supreme Court Certified as a Family Law Mediator and Florida Bar Board Certified as a specialist in Marital and Family Law. Along with Peter N. Meros, Christin C. Brennan and other members of the firm’s collaborative family law practice, Ms. Lazzara welcomes the opportunity to introduce couples to the collaborative model and help them achieve a practical and workable solution that truly meets their needs and reflects their interests.
How the Collaborative Divorce Process Works
At the start of the process, both parties and their attorneys all sign on to an agreement that they will use the collaborative process and not go to court or litigate their divorce. Everyone agrees that if the process ultimately fails, the attorneys will withdraw from representing their clients in the divorce. If the parties want to move ahead and litigate their divorce, they will have to hire new lawyers to represent them and start over from the beginning. This agreement is key to the collaborative process. It creates a strong incentive for everyone involved to commit themselves to making the process work.
Another key aspect of collaborative divorce often involves bringing in other professionals to provide input and lend their expertise to help the parties resolve their issues. These professionals might include parenting coordinators, financial planners, child psychologists, marriage counselors or therapists, and real estate brokers or property appraisers. The parties can split the cost of bringing in professionals, which saves money compared to litigation, where each side hires (and pays for) their own experts as needed. Collaborative divorce is typically less expensive than litigating a contested divorce, and it is faster as well. As with divorce mediation, the parties don’t have to wait months to get a hearing on the court’s docket but can schedule their meeting as soon as it is convenient.
Is Collaborative Divorce Right for You?
Divorce is never easy, and it’s expected for the parties to have some level of conflict between them. However, just because conflict exists does not mean the parties can’t rationally resolve that conflict. Collaborative divorce provides a structured framework to work out these issues and generate creative, practical solutions that meet everyone’s needs.
If you can sit down with your spouse and communicate productively over issues such as the division of property, child custody and the payment of support, then the collaborative process might be the best way to finalize your divorce and resolve all related matters constructively in a way that meets your needs fairly and responsibly. Remember, you’ll have the benefit of a trained family law attorney certified in collaborative family law to help you along and keep the process on track toward a successful resolution.
Call the Collaborative Divorce Lawyers at Meros, Smith, Lazzara, Brennan & Brennan, P.A.
Call Meros, Smith, Lazzara, Brennan & Brennan, P.A., today to discuss using collaborative law to resolve your divorce or other family law matter. Our St. Petersburg collaborative divorce lawyers represent clients throughout Florida. Call 727-822-4929 to get started.