How to Avoid a Nasty Divorce Battle in Tampa Bay

When people come to my office for the first time to discuss their Tampa Bay divorce, they are often nervous because they want to end their marriage, but they don’t want to have the knock-down, drag-out court battles that they frequently hear about in the news.  They simply want to resolve their family disputes as quickly, privately, and respectfully as possible, while also ensuring that they do not get the raw end of the deal.

And so many of these spouses are pleasantly surprised when I let them know that there is an option which fits all of these criteria: collaborative divorce.

The first and most important defining feature of collaborative divorce is that the parties each have their own attorney, and everyone agrees that they will not let a judge decide disputed issues.  In fact, the attorneys are contractually barred from filing any contested motions or bringing matters that have not yet been agreed upon before a judge.  This means that the parties and their attorneys will not be trying to tear each other down in a public forum and say things that cannot go unsaid.  Rather, they meet in private offices on the parties’ schedules and agree that all discussion held in the meetings will be confidential until a comprehensive settlement is reached.

In litigated cases, parties are ordered to hire a mediator to attempt to resolve their issues.  Similarly, in collaborative cases, the clients jointly retain a neutral facilitator to help them resolve their disputes in a respectful environment.  In fact, the facilitator also helps to identify each client’s goals and concerns, manage the collaborative case so that it does not languish on, and help the clients learn to communicate more respectfully.  If there are minor children involved, the facilitator ensures that the clients remain focused on the  children and develops a parenting plan which is tailored for the children’s needs.

If there are private businesses or other portfolios to divide, a neutral financial professional is oftentimes brought in to assist in the distribution of assets and debts, educate the less financially informed spouse, and help the clients budget for the future.  The financial professional is also able to narrow requests for financial documents to only those necessary for the clients to make a fully informed decision. Moreover, he or she will review and analyze the documents much quicker than attorneys are able to do in traditional litigation cases, thus saving the clients many billable hours.

Once a full settlement is reached, unlike in old-style court battle divorces, many judges in the Tampa Bay area will not require parties in collaborative cases to expose their financial information to the public court file, nor will many judges require the parties to file their Marital Settlement Agreement.

To avoid a nasty court battle which is usually the most financially and emotionally costly option, ask your attorney whether he or she is trained in and offers collaborative divorce.

If you want to learn more about how the Tampa Bay collaborative process can help your family avoid a nasty court battle, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A. at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

Adam B. Cordover is President of Next Generation Divorce, Tampa Bay’s premier practice group of collaborative family law professionals, and has been featured on NBC 8, Fox 13, Bay News 9, and ABC Action News regarding the collaborative process.  Further, Adam has been interviewed about collaborative practice in the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, and World of Collaborative Practice Magazine.

Advertisements

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 Collaborative Divorce, Family Law Explanation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s