Please check back frequently for the latest in Florida family law news and information.

Introducing Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers

14 / Oct

Adam Cordover

We are in exciting times!  In March of this year, Governor Rick Scott signed the Collaborative Law Process Act, and rules of procedure and professional conduct are pending before the Florida Supreme Court.  Divorce attorneys and other professionals are realizing that being trained in the collaborative method is now essential for any family law-related practice.  This presents a tremendous opportunity for expansion for all of our practice groups.


It is in this environment that we are excited to announce the formation of a new training team!  Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers offer a customized two-day introductory interdisciplinary training in the neutral facilitator/neutral mental health professional model at a low-risk cost structure that will help you build a vibrant collaborative community. 


Free Communication Tools for Collaborative Law Cases

10 / Oct

Adam Cordover

One of the great things about collaborative law is that families are not handcuffed by the over-scheduled dockets of judges, nor are they bound by the confines of the overcrowded courthouse.  This provides families and professionals with a lot of freedom on how, when, and where they make long-lasting decisions and resolve disputes.

Still, it can sometimes be daunting to organize meetings around the busy lives of spouses and practitioners.  Here are four tools to help communication in collaborative cases, and the best part is that do not cost a dime.


One of the toughest initial tasks of any collaborative divorce case is to find a time that works for all of the professionals to plan out how to best help out the family.  Similarly, carving a time that also works for both spouses  for the first full team meeting adds two more calendars to consider.

Fortunately, Doodle provides an easy and free way to help coordinate schedules.  Simply go to their website, provide some basic information such as title for the event, location, description, your name, and your e-mail address, and then fill out a grid for all of the proposed dates and times of your meeting.  Next, provide the e-mail addresses of the people with whom you need to schedule, and Doodle will send out a message inviting everyone to fill out the grid.  Every time someone responds, you will get a notification, and Doodle will indicate the date(s) and time(s) that works best for everyone.  If no time and date works for everyone, simply create another Doodle.

I have found that in person meetings are generally the best way to communicate in collaborative cases.  However, in person meetings are not always possible, and sometimes they are not desirable.


Video: Social Worker Gary Direnfeld Discusses Collaborative Law

07 / Oct

Adam Cordover

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker based in Dundas, Ontario, where the courts consider him an expert in social work, marital therapy, child development, and custody and access matters.  And Gary has a message for spouses considering divorce: stay out of the courts.

I got to know Gary this summer at a training in Chicago where we were learning to teach divorce lawyers and practitioners how to become peacemakers.  He is passionate about his work to help families in difficult circumstances.  In the short video below, Gary discusses an alternative to divorce court battles that he recommends: collaborative law.


Video: Mediators Beyond Borders at United Nations

05 / Oct

Adam Cordover

Mediation is not just for divorce.  It is a form of dispute resolution that is being used to help prevent and mitigate disputes and issues internationally, such as Colombia peacemaking initiatives and efforts to address climate change.

In the video below the jump, Tampa mediator and past president of Mediators Beyond Borders Lynn Cole, Esq., addresses the United Nations about the use of mediation internationally.  This address took place in May 2012.


Video: Tampa Hosts 4th Annual Collaborative Law Conference

30 / Sep

Adam Cordover

In May 2016, Tampa hosted the 4th Annual Conference of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals.  The conference ended up being the largest gathering of collaboratively-trained attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals in the organization’s history.

You can find a video of highlights of the conference after the jump.


Tampa Bay Times Column on Transgender Name Changes

28 / Sep

Adam Cordover

Tampa Bay Times Columnist Sue Carlton writes in the September 26, 2016 edition of the newspaper about a growing trend in Florida Family Law Courts: Petitions for Change of Legal Name by transgender individuals.

In Florida, courts grant requests for changes of name relatively freely.  So long as a person has not been convicted of a felony (or, if they have been convicted of a felony, then they must have had their civil rights restored), and that the person is not seeking the name change for an illegal or ulterior purpose (such as to avoid a debt or lawsuit), the court will generally grant your request for a name change.

However, you must take the required steps for a name change, including properly filing a petition, going through a background check by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and appearing before a judge for questioning.

The fact that a person is changing a name from one that is associated with one gender to a name that is associated with a different gender should not make a difference.

Parts of the Tampa Bay Times article, A new frontier for Florida courts: Transgender name changes,  can be found after the jump:


World of Collaborative Practice: A Father Discusses His Collaborative Divorce

23 / Sep

Adam Cordover

The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine is an online forum for collaborative professionals to write about news as well as the latest trends in collaborative practice.  On September 15, 2016, the Magazine published the transcript of an iHeart radio interview from here in Tampa of a father discussing his collaborative divorce.  The father, “Claire,” appeared with his collaborative attorney Julia Best Chase, along with Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover, who represented Clair’s wife.

The World of Collaborative Practice

You can find a portion of the article reproduced after the jump.


Cordover Intern Trainer at Mosten 40-Hour Mediation Training

21 / Sep

Adam Cordover

Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator Adam B. Cordover served as an Intern Trainer for Forrest (Woody) Mosten’s 40-Hour Family Law Mediation Training.  The training took place September 13-17, 2016, in Los Angeles, California.


Woody Mosten has been on the cutting edge of the law for over four decades as a leading figure in legal clinics, unbundled legal services, mediation, and collaborative law.  He literally wrote the book on these subjects, as he is the author or co-author of seminal works in the field, including the Mediation Career Guide, Collaborative Divorce Handbook, the Complete Guide to Mediation, and Unbundling Legal Services.

Further, Woody Mosten and Adam B. Cordover have been tasked by the American Bar Association to write a book on Building A Successful Collaborative Law Practice, which is expected to be published in early 2017.


Adoption Client Review: Very Professional and Precise

19 / Sep

Adam Cordover

An adoption client recently reviewed Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm on

FLORIDA BAR DISCLAIMER: Please note that every case is different, and you may not receive the same or similar results.  You can find the review after the jump.


Proposed Collaborative Divorce Professional Conduct Rule Published in Florida Bar News

09 / Sep

Adam Cordover

In March of 2016, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law the Collaborative Law Process Act (“CLPA”).  The CLPA, among other things, protects communications within the collaborative process so that participants can be more open in their discussions and can rest assured that proposals and comments made while trying to reach agreement cannot later be used against them.

However, the CLPA does not go into effect until after the Florida Supreme Court adopts Rules of Professional Conduct and Rules of Procedure.

Proposed rules have been approved by the Florida Board of Governors, and they have been published in the August 15, 2016 edition of the Florida Bar News for comment.  Once the comment period is over, the Florida Supreme Court will determine whether it will approve the rules.

You can find the proposed Rule of Professional Conduct (4-1.19) after the jump (the proposed Rule of Procedure is published in a separate post):