Top 5 Reasons to Choose Collaborative Divorce

Divorce is difficult, but not all divorces are created equally.  Here in Tampa Bay and Greater Sarasota, more and more people are choosing to resolve their family law issues via the collaborative process.  Collaborative divorce is a method of dispute resolution where the spouses agree from the beginning that they are each going to retain attorneys who will work as settlement specialists and who will not engage in court battles.

Here are the top 5 reasons any Florida couple considering a split should choose collaborative divorce:

1.  Privacy

Rather than have their dirty laundry aired in a public courthouse, spouses going through a collaborative divorce resolve all issues through privileged and confidential discussions in a private conference room.

This can be especially important for business-owners, professionals, and high-profile Florida residents who are concerned about the public release of either financial details or embarrassing personal shortcomings.

2.  Respect

By its very nature, divorces that go through the court system are adversarial.  They pit husband versus wife, mother versus father, as each side tries to prove to a judge that he or she is a better parent or deserves more money.  In contrast, collaborative divorce is a team-based method of conflict resolution, where attorneys help the spouses attack the problem rather than attack one another.  The attorneys help foster an atmosphere of respect and dignity within discussions.

Parents and their children (whether minor or adult) are the ones who benefit the most from this aspect of collaborative divorce, as though the marriage is ending, the relationship as co-parents will continue.

3.  Efficiency

Ninety percent or more of all divorce cases end up settling, whether before filing a petition for dissolution of their marriage or after the parties have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and many years going through trial but right before a judge hands down a decision.  And even though the vast majority of divorces settle, the vast majority of the cost is associated with preparing for trial, conducting opposition research, engaging in depositions and other discovery techniques, and preparing for and attending hearing after hearing before a final trial.

In collaborative divorce, the attorneys are absolutely barred from engaging in any contested court proceeding, and they focus all of their energy, time, and resources helping the parties reach an agreement.  In the unlikely event that the spouses cannot reach an agreement (similar to all other divorces, collaborative divorce has a settlement rate of around 90%), the collaborative attorneys withdraw and the spouses can engage trial counsel.

The efficiency and cost savings created by the sole focus on out-of-court dispute resolution is cited by many middle class families as the reason they choose collaborative divorce.

4.  Interdisciplinary

In the collaborative process, there is a recognition that divorce is not just a legal process; it is also an emotional and financial process.  That is why most collaborative cases involve a neutral facilitator, who usually has a mental health license, and a neutral financial professional.

The neutral facilitator helps clients cut through the clutter of emotionally-charged issues and focus on what is most important to them (such as their children) rather than focus on rigid positions.  The neutral financial professional can help enlarge the pie (by, for example, figuring out the most tax advantageous options for the clients) and help ensure there is financial transparency in discussions.

The interdisciplinary nature of collaborative practice is most important for those going through an emotionally-charged divorce or those concerned about the financial aspects of a divorce agreement.

5.  Creativity

When a judge makes a ruling, he or she is bound to rule within certain parameters of the law.  In collaborative divorce, on the other hand, the parties may agree to virtually anything so long as it does not violate the public policy of Florida.

Spouses who want a pet custody schedule or a parenting plan that includes grandparent visitation – end results that a judge simply could not order – and anyone who wants a family-tailored result rather than a court-imposed rigid fiat are best served by the creativity of collaborative divorce.

If you have questions about how the collaborative divorce process can benefit 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, Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative divorce group with members in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties.  Adam is also on the Executive Board 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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One Response to Top 5 Reasons to Choose Collaborative Divorce

  1. Pingback: Peace for the Holidays With Collaborative Divorce | Open Palm

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