Tampa’s Head Family Law Judge Endorses Collaborative Process

Judge Catlin and the CDITB Board

From L to R: Dr. Bob Evans, Christine Hearn, Adam B. Cordover, Judge Catherine M. Catlin, Beth Reineke, Lara Davis, David Harper

Judge Catherine M. Catlin, Associate Administrative Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit’s Domestic Relations Division, recently lead a round table discussion sponsored by the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay (“CDITB”). Judge Catlin relayed, among other things, that she encourages clients to participate in private alternative dispute resolution methods such as collaborative practice.

Collaborative practice (also known as collaborative family law, collaborative process, and collaborative divorce) is a method of resolving disputes where the parties agree that they are not going to bring their case in front of a judge to decide issues of custody, division of assets, etc. Instead, they hire trained collaborative attorneys committed to reach a settlement. A neutral facilitator or mental health professional is retained to move the process forward and keep the parties focused on the future of the family and children rather than on the arguments of the past. A neutral financial expert is often brought on board to develop settlement options that make sense for the family’s financial well-being.

One of the biggest selling points of collaborative divorce is that the case takes place in the privacy of one of the professional’s offices rather than in the public domain of open court.

Judge Catlin, in her remarks, discussed how Tampa will soon bolster the privacy of the collaborative process. She has been working with the leadership of the CDITB (including Membership Chair Adam B. Cordover) and other local groups to draft an administrative order governing collaborative family law in Hillsborough County. The proposed administrative order will allow for the filing of redacted financial affidavits and will permit final judgments of divorce to be granted without the parenting plans or marital settlement agreements being place in the publicly-accessible court file.

The administrative order is expected to be granted by the chief judge of Hillsborough County within the coming weeks.

If you have question regarding the collaborative process and you wish to schedule a consultation with a collaboratively trained Tampa Bay attorney, contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our online form.

Adam B. Cordover is on the Executive Board of the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay.

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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 www.FamilyDiplomacy.com. 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.
This entry was posted in Administrative Orders, Collaborative Divorce, Family Law Explanation, Family Law News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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