A Non-Adversarial Divorce in Tampa Bay

When most people think of divorce, they think of a courthouse battle.  Florida’s court system pits husband versus wife, mother versus father, and what ensues is many times not too different from divorces depicted in War of the Roses or Kramer vs. Kramer.

But collaborative divorce is something different altogether.

Collaborative divorce starts with each spouse retaining their own attorney who commits to privately resolving all disputes.  The spouses and their attorneys sign a participation agreement which bars the attorneys from appearing in any contested court hearings against the other spouse.  This means that no money is wasted on costly depositions, intrusive discovery requests, or anxiety-inducing trials.

The entire focus for the attorneys is helping the spouses respectfully and transparently reach an agreement which peacefully restructures their family.

To help expedite this process and guide discussions to be future-oriented rather than concentrating on arguments of the past, a neutral Facilitator is retained.  The Facilitator, who oftentimes has a mental health background, ensures that communication remains constructive and that the spouses can focus on the matters that are most important to them, such as the welfare of their children.  The Facilitator can give the spouses a better chance of maintaining a constructive relationship, even once the divorce is finalized.

Further, to enable transparency in divorce discussions and create efficiencies in the process, a neutral financial professional is oftentimes utilized.  In any divorce where there are issues of child or spousal support or division of assets and debts, Florida laws require the parties to fill out and exchange financial affidavits, tax returns, and other documents.  In non-collaborative divorces, this is usually prepared by each attorney at high hourly rates.  By contrast, in collaborative divorce, the neutral financial professional is in charge of the required disclosure and does so at one hourly rate that is obviously much less expensive than two attorney hourly rates.  The neutral financial professional allows each spouse to trust, but verify, before making financial decisions.

Additionally, the financial professional can ensure that the spouses are on better footing once the divorce is over with.  In most marriages, there is one person who is much less knowledgeable about family finances than the other person.  This can make transition to single life difficult, as that spouse is not familiar with balancing a checkbook or creating a household budget.  The financial professional can teach these skills to the less financially-aware spouse and help him or her become independent.

Divorce does not need to be adversarial.  If you want to learn how the collaborative process can peacefully and respectfully help restructure your family, 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, a network of independent attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals dedicated to helping families via non-adversarial means.  Adam is also on the Board of Directors of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida and the Research Committee 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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