Collaborative Law Featured in Pensacola News Journal

Thanks to the efforts of dedicated family law attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals, collaborative law is spreading throughout Florida, including in Pensacola.

Collaborative law, also referred to as collaborative divorce, collaborative practice, and collaborative process, is a form of private dispute resolution.  In collaborative law, each party is represented by his or her own attorney, and the lawyers are there solely to help the parties reach an agreement.  The concept behind collaborative divorce is that most people want to move on with their lives as quickly and painlessly as possible without messing up their kids.

Pensacola New Journal Features Collaborative Law

The Pensacola News Journal recently ran an article featuring collaborative practice.  You can find excerpts from the article, titled “West Coast Collaborative Law wants to make divorces friendlier,” below:

A group of Panhandle lawyers has started a nonprofit that aims to reduce the cost and emotional turmoil of divorces.

West Florida Collaborative Law has only been in existence for a few months, but Milton lawyer John Susko said the group already has more than a dozen attorneys, as well as financial and mental health professionals, who are helping grow the program.

The idea behind collaborative family law is that instead of spending time and money in courtrooms, couples talk out their divorce through mediation and back-and-forth discussion, Susko said.

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You Already Have A Prenup

Congratulations, you are getting married!  You found the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, and now you have a big, bright future ahead!  But now the P-word has come up: Prenup.

You and your fiance may be wondering whether to get a prenuptial agreement, also referred to as a premarital agreement.  It may be that one of you has significantly more assets than the other.  Perhaps there is a family business in play.  Maybe you have children from a prior relationship that you want to protect or you have other estate-planning needs.  Or maybe you just want to plan for all possible contingencies.

Prenup

So if you are considering a premarital agreement, there is something you should keep in mind:  You already have a prenup.

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Bitcoin and Divorce

Bitcoin and Divorce

Bitcoin is a relatively new type of currency that is not controlled by any government but rather is decentralized.  It is oftentimes referred to as a “cryptocurrency” as it is not physical.  Bitcoins are maintained in virtual “wallets” and can be transferred via QR codes.

The video below from the Wall Street Journal further explains Bitcoin:

As Bitcoin is becoming more popular, it should not be surprising that is showing up in divorce cases.  So what happens to Bitcoins in divorce?

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Advanced Collaborative Training: Cutting Edge Collaborative Practices (Erie, PA)

Cutting Edge Collaborative Practices
“Sharpening Your Skills From Initial Consult to Case Debrief”

 May 4 and May 5, 2017 | 9am – 4pm | Erie, PA

 

About

There are communities around the world in which Collaborative Practice has been embraced by professionals and clients.  One of the common elements that tie these communities together is that quality Collaborative Practitioners are never satisfied with what they know or how they apply the Collaborative Model. In this highly interactive training, learn Collaborative strategies and techniques that have been successfully implemented in communities around the U.S. and Canada. Practice leading edge methods to strengthen your Teams, provide effective feedback, and address conflict before it arises. Explore innovative techniques to help clients choose the Collaborative Process, and take the steps to build a Collaborative Practice.

Continental breakfast, light snacks, and beverages are included for each day.  Social (with light snacks) to follow on Friday after the training.

Registration Fee:

$525.00
$475.00 Register by Monday April 3.

 

Location:

Erie Yacht Club
1 Ravine Drive,
Erie, PA 16505

Trainers

Adam B. Cordover, Esq., Tampa, FL
Brian Galbraith, Esq., Barrie, ON, CAN
Kevin Scudder, Esq., Seattle, WA
Melissa Sulkowski, M.A., L.P.C., Erie, PA
Special Guest Forrest “Woody” Mosten
Participating via Skype

Trainers are all IACP Leadership Academy Graduates and Founding Members of the Peacemaking Practice Trainers

Each Trainer Exceeds IACP Trainer Standards
See Below for information on Continuing Education Credits
Sponsored by Collaborative Professionals of Northwest PA (CPNWPA.org)

Please direct any questions to Holly Kallay.  (814) 455-1301 or hollykallay@gmail.com

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Trans Name Change in Tampa Bay

Do you want your legal identity to match who you are?  At Family Diplomacy, we have been a cutting edge law firm serving the needs of LGBT clients.  We can help you apply for a change of your legal name and gender marker to sync with your gender identity.  In sum, we can help you with a trans name change.

Trans Name Change

Though Florida is often behind the times, with name changes the state is pretty liberal.  So long as your civil rights are not suspended, and you are not seeking a change of name for an illegal or ulterior purpose, your petition of change of name can be granted by a circuit court judge.

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High Net Worth Divorce in Tampa Bay

As a professional, executive, politician, sports figure, or otherwise high profile individual in Tampa Bay, you have a bigger incentive than most to keep your high net worth divorce amicable and private.  You do not need your dirty laundry aired in the media, and you want to minimize the amount of financial information in the public court file.  Further, you want to protect your kids from a potential circus environment.

Collaborative Divorce for High Net Worth Divorce in Tampa Bay

High Net Worth Divorce in Tampa Bay

For you, there is collaborative divorce.

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Cordover Letter on Collaborative Divorce Published in Tampa Bay Times

In February, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Charlie Crist, former governor of the State of Florida, filed a petition for divorce in which he stated that he anticipated that he and his wife will go through a “collaborative law process.”  On February 27, 2017, the Tampa Bay Times published a letter written by Family Diplomacy attorney Adam B. Cordover explaining what a collaborative divorce is.

You can find the letter reproduced below:

Crist filed for divorce from wife of 8 years Feb. 25

Collaborative divorce: what it is, how it works

On Feb. 24, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, R-St. Petersburg, filed for divorce. In his petition, Crist states that he anticipates that he and his wife will go through a “collaborative law process.” What is a collaborative divorce?

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Collaborative Mediation

What is Collaborative Mediation?

If you are getting divorced, you want to move forward as peacefully, quickly, and cost-effectively as possible.  And so you should learn about collaborative mediation.

Mediation

Collaborative mediation is a combination of two forms of private dispute resolution: mediation and collaborative divorce.  In mediation, you meet face-to-face with your spouse along with a neutral mediator (or co-mediators).  The mediator does not decide issues for you.  Rather, the mediator is there to facilitate an agreement between you and your spouse.

What is said during mediation is private and confidential.  This means that statements or offers made in mediation cannot be used against you later in court.  This confidentiality is protected by the Florida Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act (Florida Statutes §§ 44.401-44.406).

Though the mediator can help you and your spouse reach an agreement, he or she cannot provide you with legal advice.  The mediator, for example, cannot tell you if you are making a good or bad deal.

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Co-Mediation Divorce Without Lawyers

Can I Divorce Without Lawyers?

Do you want to divorce without lawyers?  Are you and your spouse able to sit down together, but you need some help to figure out what you even need to address?  Are you okay going without legal advice, and you just want to get through the divorce as quickly, painlessly, and cost-effectively as possible?

Well, then, co-mediation can help you divorce without lawyers.

Co-Mediation Divorce Without Lawyers

In co-mediation, you and your spouse sit down face-to-face with two mediators: one with a legal background and one with a child and family dynamics background.

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Collaborative Law Rules at Florida Supreme Court

Collaborative Law Rules Oral Arguments at Florida Supreme Court

On February 9, 2017, the Honorable Laurel M. Lee, Circuit Court Judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County and Chair of the Family Law Rules Committee of the Florida Bar Family Law Section, along with collaborative attorney Robert Merlin, Vice Chair of the Committee and a Board Member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, stood before the Florida Supreme Court (video) to argue in favor of the adoption of collaborative law rules of procedure and professional conduct.

In 2016, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law the Collaborative Law Practice Act, but the Act does not go into effect until the Florida Supreme Court approves rules.  The Act creates a framework for collaborative family law, which is a private form of dispute resolution where attorneys focus solely on helping clients reach an out-of-court agreement.

Judge Lee explained to the Supreme Court Justices that the process is voluntary: “It is entirely a voluntary process by the litigants and families that choose to engage in the collaborative law process.  It can be terminated by either of the parties at any time.”

Judge Laurel Lee at Florida Supreme Court Arguing In Favor of Collaborative Law Rules

Judge Laurel Lee at Florida Supreme Court Arguing In Favor of Collaborative Law Rules

When asked if collaborative practice could help those with modest means, Judge Lee told the Supreme Court justices how she first came to learn about collaborative divorce:

“I first became aware of the collaborative process when a case came to my trial court in which all of the collaborative team – including the attorneys, the mental health professional, and the financial professional – had taken the case pro bono. I know in my circuit there is a group of collaborative professionals who take low cost or reduced fee cases so that parties do have access to this process even if they are not families of great financial means.”

Upon being asked by Justice Ricky Polston what effect collaborative practice has on mediation, Judge Lee replied, “They are not mutually exclusive.  Collaborative is a process that the parties can choose to engage in but does not preclude the use of any other alternative dispute resolution methods.  So [mediation] could certainly remain an option for litigants.”

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