Collaborative Divorce

Hunter Law in Tampa, FL, specializes in guiding clients through respectful and constructive collaborative divorce agreements as an alternative to traditional methods for ending a marriage.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce transforms the traditionally adversarial legal process into a cooperative, respectful negotiation between partners. Since before the introduction of Florida’s Collaborative Law Process Act in 2017, Hunter Law has used this alternative to traditional court litigation. Both parties engage with specially trained collaborative divorce attorneys and, when necessary, neutral third parties like financial planners or mental health specialists. The goal of this approach is to eliminate court battles, focusing instead on crafting mutual agreements that genuinely reflect the needs of both parties. With Hunter Law, collaborative divorce becomes a pathway to a respectful resolution, providing solutions that uphold your family’s well-being.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?

There are several key steps in the collaborative divorce process:

  1. Initial Consultation and Team Formation: Once you and your partner decide on a collaborative divorce, the first step is selecting an attorney trained specifically in collaborative law. If, for any reason, the collaborative divorce process fails before the finalization step, your collaborative divorce lawyer cannot represent you in court. That means, as collaborative attorneys, that we focus on achieving a settlement outside of traditional litigation. You’ll form a team of financial neutrals, mental health specialists, and other outside experts with your lawyer as needed. These additional players, the “collaborative team,” are joint participants in that they work for both parties and not just for one side or the other.  That way, you get a well-rounded approach to your unique situation.
  2. Signing the Collaborative Participation Agreement: In the collaborative divorce process, all parties sign an agreement that binds them to resolve the divorce without court intervention. It’s a clear commitment to transparency, respect, and negotiation, establishing a safe space for dialogue. This agreement also states that if the collaborative process ends without resolution, the involved collaborative divorce attorneys must withdraw. This rule reinforces our role as dedicated negotiators rather than litigators.
  3. Goal and Interest Identification: During the initial meetings, you and your spouse discuss and define your personal and mutual goals, interests, and priorities. This step lays the groundwork for a respectful and constructive negotiation. You receive a customized process based on your family’s specific dynamics and needs. It’s a time for open communication and sets the foundation for agreements that truly reflect the goals and concerns of all parties involved.
  4. Information Gathering and Sharing: Complete transparency is critical in this step. You and your spouse, guided by your collaborative team, share all necessary information, especially financial data. This helps to make sure everyone fully understands the family’s circumstances. An open exchange here lays a solid foundation for fair negotiations, aiming to meet the needs and interests of both parties.
  5. Exploration of Options and Solutions: During your joint meeting sessions, the whole collaborative team actively brainstorms and assesses different settlement options. We keep all the legal, emotional, and financial ramifications in mind and discuss them as a group. Collaborative efforts aim to reach a solution that everyone is satisfied with. Collaborative divorce fosters a sense of cooperation and mutual respect throughout the process.
  6. Reaching the Agreement: After going through all the points of contention, you and your spouse make final decisions on the terms of the divorce. We cover asset division, parenting plans, and financial support. We facilitated this consensus through discussions that prioritize your family’s best interests. In the end, you get a comprehensive and acceptable agreement for both spouses.
  7. Drafting and Signing the Settlement Agreement: The collaborative attorneys carefully draft a settlement agreement that includes your and your spouse’s decisions. Once both parties review and sign this document, it becomes a legally binding contract. 
  8. Finalization: The last step of the collaborative divorce process is presenting the signed settlement agreement to a judge. The judge reviews and approves the contract. The judge formalizes the divorce if the agreement meets all legal standards and serves the family’s best interests. The approval of the collaborative divorce agreement officially dissolves the marriage.

With collaborative family law, each step you take creates a respectful, transparent, and equitable divorce process. Hunter Law, experienced in collaborative divorce in Tampa, FL, guides you through this journey, prioritizing the well-being of your entire family.

How Long Does Collaborative Divorce Take?

Statistics show that collaborative divorce is not only effective but also time-efficient. The timeline for a collaborative divorce can vary, typically concluding faster than a traditional divorce. In Florida, the efficiency of collaborative law allows most cases to finish within a year. However, that is contingent on the complexity of the case and the cooperation between parties. The Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals highlights that 95% of collaborative cases in Florida conclude within a year. Additionally, 84% of collaborative divorce agreements finish in less than nine months.  

Benefits of Collaborative Divorce in Tampa, FL

Choosing a collaborative divorce with Hunter Law comes with a number of advantages that you won’t get with a traditional divorce. The benefits of collaborative divorce include:

  • Control Over Decision-Making: You and your ex-spouse have the autonomy to make decisions that affect your future. Collaborative divorce agreements do not put the terms of your divorce in the hands of a judge.
  • Time and Cost Efficiency: Collaborative divorce often resolves faster and at a lower cost than traditional litigation. Many collaborative divorces in Florida cost less and are finalized faster.
  • Privacy: The collaborative process is confidential, with the option of keeping sensitive family matters out of public court records.
  • Reduced Conflict and Stress: By promoting respectful and cooperative negotiation, collaborative divorce agreements minimize emotional strain and conflict between you and your spouse.
  • Comprehensive Support: The collaborative divorce process involves a multidisciplinary team approach, including legal, financial, and emotional support. This ultimately leads to more holistic and sustainable agreements.
  • Flexibility and Creativity: The process allows for more creative and customized solutions tailored to your family’s unique needs. You can also reopen and reconsider collaborative divorce agreements at a later date, unlike some parts of a judge’s rulings, which are final.
  • Preservation of Relationships: Collaborative divorce encourages a respectful and amicable approach, which can preserve relationships and facilitate better co-parenting.

Why Choose Hunter Law as Your Collaborative Divorce Attorney?

Hunter Law stands out in Tampa for its dedicated approach to collaborative divorce. We prioritize your well-being and preserving familial relationships, especially when children are involved. Contact us today to explore how collaborative divorce can lead to a healthier transition for your family, embracing a new chapter with peace and mutual respect.

What is Collaborative? (n.d.). Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Retrieved March 16, 2024, from

Statutes & Constitution:View Statutes: Online Sunshine. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2024, from