Many marriages end in divorce, and odds are you know someone who’s been through it. You might’ve even heard the horror stories of how divorce is stressful, expensive, time-consuming, emotionally and physically draining, and how it rips families apart. While these scenarios do play out many times, the truth is it doesn’t have to be that way. The Divorce Expert provides you with a new option, a new type of divorce process: Proactive Divorce™.
The Standard Divorce Process
Until now, options for a divorce have been limited. These options include:
- Divorce Litigation with attorneys
- Divorce Litigation without attorneys (pro se)
- Collaborative Divorce
In a typical divorce, one or both spouses will meet with an attorney. The attorney can speak in broad terms about the law but, at this stage, most attorneys will not give direct legal advice or sign off on an agreement without first having the ability to review documentation (i.e. discovery) as they could run the risk of committing malpractice. The attorney will then request a retainer or prepayment. An initial retainer can be anywhere from $2,500 to $20,000 (sometimes even more) depending on the case. The attorneys and their staff will then bill an hourly rate against the retainer. When the retainer runs out, clients are billed regularly. Most professionals do not work for free (another words, they will not finance your litigation). Another retainer may even be requested. By the way, this applies to both spouses’ attorneys, meaning that both attorneys will require an upfront retainer (e.g. $7,500 x 2 = $15,000 out of pocket at the start).
Once a spouse files for divorce, the process has begun. There are general rules that dictate how and when things must be done. The spouse who files the divorce is known as the petitioner. The other spouse is known as the respondent. The respondent will be served with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and will generally have 20 days to respond. Also, from the very start, the exchange of discovery between the parties is required. Although this might sound simple enough so far, the problem is timing. Each party could have 45 days to exchange their initial discovery. An attorney can also ask the court for an extension of time. This means that 45 or more days could pass before a single document is even exchanged and reviewed. To make matters worse, it’s possible (no, likely) that not all records will be provided during the first exchange.
Discovery provides the evidence needed to proceed with divorce litigation. Unfortunately, attorneys often find themselves asking the judge to order the production of additional necessary discovery. Even when you have the discovery, it is not easy to find time on judge’s calendars for multi-hour evidentiary hearings. It can be months out. As a result, a divorce in Florida can easily take between 6 to 24 months or even longer. Not only does this waste time, but it also wastes money.
What Is The Proactive Divorce™?
There is no denying that the current divorce process is flawed. Proactive Divorce™ flips the old process on its head to save you time, energy, resources and stress. The principles on which Proactive Divorce™ stands are the 6 F’s:
The Proactive DivorceTM process provides answers and findings first. Independent attorneys are still involved in the process, but they get involved later and they receive the answers they need rather than searching for the answers through the traditional divorce process.
The Proactive DivorceTM plan will be formulated at the inception and the process will be scheduled to be completed in 90 days or less. This is much faster than a traditional divorce.
Attorneys are not accountants and, in the traditional divorce, many people omit an accountant because of the additional cost involved. Through the Proactive DivorceTM process, all clients agree to transparency and receive a forensic analysis completed by forensic CPAs. This work is shared with the respective parties’ independent attorneys later in the process.
The Proactive DivorceTM charges a flat fee that is determined and agreed upon at the beginning of the process along with everything included. That means no hidden fees and no surprises.
Traditional divorce can leave families torn apart. The Proactive DivorceTM process is intended to allow families to interact cordially by removing much of the anger that permeates through the traditional divorce process.
The Proactive DivorceTM process was created to achieve a fair resolution for both parties.
The Divorce Expert
Are you wondering why I call myself the Divorce Expert? I have practiced as a family law attorney, family law mediator, personal financial specialist, public accountant, forensic CPA, and a business valuator. It is through this experience that I got to know the divorce process from all angles, essentially becoming an expert in the topic. Once aware of the problems behind the traditional divorce process, I knew that there had to be a better option. Because of that, I created the Proactive DivorceTM so people like you could take control of their divorce and, more importantly, their lives.