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What Are the Differences Between Simplified and Collaborative Divorce?

couple meeting with a lawyer

When pursuing a divorce, you may be presented with various options from your attorney regarding how you wish to approach your divorce. You can go the litigation route, opt for arbitration, or work it out on your own through a collaborative or simplified divorce. Collaborative and simplified divorces are great for couples who wish to divorce amicably but don’t work for every case.

Simplified Divorce

A simplified divorce is one of the easiest ways to get a divorce in Florida. Despite the easiness and speedy quality of pursuing a simplified divorce, it is restricted to specific circumstances. Couples are eligible to use the simplified dissolution of marriage process if they:

  • Pursue an uncontested divorce
  • Do not have any children under the age of 18
  • Are not currently pregnant with a child
  • Are not pursuing alimony
  • Both agree there are irreconcilable differences

Couples pursuing simplified dissolution of marriage must also meet the residency requirements for a Florida divorce, where one party has lived in the filing county for at least six consecutive months.

Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce is an option that most couples may be able to utilize if they are able to effectively communicate, as it has fewer restrictions than a simplified divorce. Ultimately, both parties undergoing a collaborative divorce need to agree that they will go through their divorce without the need for litigation or court in good faith.

Couples undergoing a collaborative divorce still have the flexibility to make their agreements about property division, child custody and support, alimony, and the creation of their parenting plan. This opens up collaborative divorce to be an option for divorcing couples who wish to seek alimony or have dependent children, unlike with simplified divorce.

However, collaborative divorce may take more time as you work together to build your agreements, so you might not be able to get that same speedy divorce available with a simplified divorce.

How Do I Choose?

The selection of which divorce route you may take depends on your individual circumstances. We typically help our clients determine if they will pursue a collaborative or simplified divorce by asking these questions:

  • Do you wish to seek alimony?
  • Is your divorce contested?
  • Do you have shared children under the age of 18?
  • Are you currently pregnant?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then a collaborative divorce is the best possible route to use, since you will be unable to seek a simplified divorce.

Bartow Divorce Attorney

Our divorce attorney at Advocate Law Firm, P.A. can help you as you begin the process of your divorce. Together, you can pick a method that works best for you and ultimately start the resolution of your marriage.

Are you pursuing a divorce but don’t know what to do next? Call our divorce attorney today at (863) 644-5566 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can protect your family.