Tampa Bay Times Article on 2015 Florida Collaborative Divorce Bill

The Tampa Bay Times recently published an article on collaborative divorce.  The article quotes four local collaborative professionals (attorneys Ingrid Hooglander, Tanya O’Conner, and Mark Moon, and psychologist Rachel Moskowitz), all of whom are members of Next Generation Divorce, an interdisciplinary group of professionals dedicated to educating the public about a healthier way to resolve their family disputes.

The article also interviews State Senator Tom Lee of Brandon, who is the sponsor of Senate Bill 642, the Collaborative Law Practice Act.  Though collaborative law is already being practiced as a private way to resolve divorces and other family law issues in Tampa Bay and throughout Florida, the bill provides a legal framework for the process and adds protections to the privacy of communications during settlement talks.

Below is an excerpt:

Lee champions the bill in part because divorce proceedings have created a backlog of cases that is consuming judicial resources. But he also worries about the toll that protracted battles can have on families.

“These cases have significant societal costs, as family law cases are often acrimonial,” Lee wrote in an email. “It is often impossible to shelter the litigants and their dependent children from the dramatic psychological and economic consequences of protracted litigation.”

Lawyers and family professionals across the United States are embracing the alternative approach by forming groups such as Next Generation Divorce, a team that recently partnered in Brandon to resolve marriage dissolutions without litigation. They say they hope to help families avoid courtrooms and return respect, dignity, and privacy to the divorce process.

In the collaborative process, spouses resolve issues related to their divorce in private conference rooms rather than in public courtrooms.  Each spouse retains their own collaborative attorney, who spends all of his or her time and resources on helping the parties achieve an agreement, and who is contractually prohibited from wasting any time or money preparing for a bitter trial.

A neutral collaborative facilitator, who is usually a licensed mental health professional, is generally retained to help the parties focus on the future and what is most important to them (such as their children) rather than on the arguments of the past.  A neutral financial professional is oftentimes retained to cut down the costs of gathering and disclosing financial information and developing options for support as well as division of property and debts.

If you have questions about how collaborative divorce differs from traditional divorce and its pros and cons, 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, Florida’s largest collaborative practice group.  Adam is also on the Executive Board of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida and a graduate of the inaugural Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

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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.
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