Collaborative Divorce: Keeping the Process Out of the Courts

The following passage of an article from the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay discusses a collaborative law agreement, how parties are encouraged to settle rather than institute a court action, and the differences between collaborative divorce and mediation:

     Once you decide that Collaborative Divorce is right for you, the first step is for each party and their attorney to sign a Collaborative Law Agreement. This agreement serves as a contract which ensures that the lawyers will act solely as settlement counsel only. By serving as settlement counsel your lawyers are contractually barred from ever going to Court in your divorce case. However, if at some point either party decides it would be more beneficial for the Court to settle a particular matter, you can terminate the Agreement at any time. This helps give you ultimate control of how your case is handled and guarantees an outcome suitable for all parties. It is important to remember that if you or the other party chooses to take a contested matter to the Court both attorneys are fired instantly and can not represent you before the court. Because the purpose of Collaborative divorce is to settle matters amicably and civilly, choosing to take a matter to the court is highly discouraged and may be to the detriment of both parties. This feature of Collaborative Divorce also enhances the possibility of a mutually pleasing outcome and encourages attorneys and clients to work in everyone’s best interest.

The agreement also outlines the expectations of each party and how the divorce process will proceed. Typically, the parties and their attorneys meet in a series of sessions with other necessary financial and health professionals to create a range of quality individualized settlement alternatives that both parties can agree on.

You may be wondering, how is the process of Collaborative Divorce different from traditional court ordered mediation? In mediation, an impartial third party (the mediator) assists the negotiations of both parties and tries to help settle your case. However, the mediator cannot give either of you legal advice or be an advocate for either side. During mediation your lawyer may or may not be present, and the mediator typically drafts the settlement terms and submits them for review to the attorneys. Collaborative Practice allows you both to have lawyers present during the negotiation process to keep settlement as the top priority. The lawyers, who have training similar to mediators, work with their clients and one another to assure a balanced process that’s positive and productive. When there is agreement, a document is drafted by the lawyers, and reviewed and edited by you both until everyone is satisfied. Both Collaborative Practice and mediation rely on voluntary, free exchange of information and commitment to resolutions respecting everyone’s shared goals.

Attorney Adam B. Cordover has completed advanced training in interdisciplinary  collaborative family law and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay.

If you wish to schedule a consultation with a collaborative lawyer, call The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at 813-443-0615 or fill out our contact form.


About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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3 Responses to Collaborative Divorce: Keeping the Process Out of the Courts

  1. Very interesting article about collaborative divorce. Thanks for posting!

  2. Attorney NJ says:

    Collaborative Divorce is basically agreement to settlement between both partners. It is a nice way of settlement; thanks to share this post with us.

  3. Pingback: Potential Disadvantages of Collaborative Law | ABC Family Law Blog

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