Divorce proceedings have a reputation for being messy, expensive and socially damaging. Many people contemplating divorce would prefer to take the high road by avoiding unnecessary conflict with their spouse. Those considering divorce in Florida typically have the option of cooperating with their spouse via an uncontested or amicable divorce in an effort to avoid litigation.
One of the biggest deterrents to taking a more amicable approach is the concern that someone will not receive an appropriate and fair outcome. Is it possible for someone to pursue an appropriate outcome in an amicable divorce, or will they have to compromise on everything?
Compromise is key to uncontested divorces
In most cases, those attempting to collaborate with their spouse for divorce will generally need to make a few concessions. For example, they may have to give up their interest in certain assets if they feel very strongly about retaining certain property. They will very likely have to compromise on certain matters regarding times-sharing arrangements for any children in the household as well. A willingness to compromise is generally key to successful amicable divorces. Thankfully, that doesn’t necessarily mean that someone has to accept and unfair or biased outcome.
Amicable divorce requires mutual agreement
To proceed with an uncontested divorce, spouses will either need to reach an agreement with one another, possibly by allowing their attorneys to negotiate. Other times, couples may attend mediation sessions to settle their disagreements about divorce terms. Both during collaborative negotiation efforts and divorce mediation, a formal, signed agreement is typically necessary to move forward with an uncontested divorce. Therefore, if one spouse does something patently unfair or refuses to compromise, the other still has the option of taking the divorce to court and having a judge apply state rules, like the equitable distribution statute for the division of marital property.
Those attempting to divorce amicably will usually benefit from having support and guidance during the process, as they are particularly vulnerable to misconduct, such as attempts to hide assets. Still, with the right help, it is theoretically possible for someone to obtain a fair portion of marital resources and reasonable terms for support and custody while cooperating with their spouse.
Those who know their rights, understand the nature of their marital estate and familiarize themselves with state law will have an easier time seeking appropriate solutions in an amicable divorce scenario. Choosing to cooperate with a spouse can help keep costs low and may also minimize the strain on children, but those considering amicable divorce should still seek to protect their interests throughout the process.