Florida’s Department of Business & Professional Regulation Division of Certified Public Accounting requires CPAs to complete a certain amount of continuing education units to remain licensed.
On May 3, 2016, Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover, alongside collaborative professionals Sonya Johnson and Monica Epstein, provided continuing education units for the accountants of Cohen & Grieb, P.A. Cordover, Johnson, and Epstein gave a workshop on “Collaborative Family Law: The Smart Alternative to Courtroom Divorce.”
The workshop, held during National Small Business Week, focused on the effects that divorce can have on small businesses, and how collaborative family law can help ameliorate those effects.
Divorce is one of life’s most devastating traumas, and the stress that the adversarial courtroom divorce can have on employees cost business owners countless dollars every year. Further, a private business is seen by Florida law as a potential marital asset, to be divided in divorce just like houses, retirement funds, or personal property. When those business are put in the spotlight of a divorce court, what is left of the business can be picked apart by competitors sifting through a public court file.
Collaborative family law, by contrast, is non-adversarial. The spouses’ attorneys are not seen as “opposing counsel,” but rather as teammates. The clients themselves are not seen as “opposing parties,” but rather as co-parents or simply people looking to enter the next stage of their lives.
Collaborative attorneys can only help the spouses reach an out-of-court settlement, so no time, money, or energy is spent on underhanded litigation tactics or preparing for a costly trial. This greatly reduces the stress on spouses and mitigates productivity losses.
A facilitator, who generally has a licensure in therapeutic services, is usually engaged to help the spouses reduce costs to focus on the what is most important to them (i.e., their children or their financial futures) rather than the arguments of the past. A neutral financial professional is also oftentimes utilized to help ensure the parties can make informed decisions (think trust, but verify) and assist the spouses to budget and figure out creative ways that assets may divided to minimize the impact on a private business. Further, any business valuations in collaborative practice are done by a neutral person rather than the spouses having to both hire competing valuation experts at double the costs as is the norm in litigation.
Discussions are had in private and are confidential, and so business owners can have protections against sensitive company information being made public.
All around, the collaborative process just makes sense for small business owners and their employees.
Cohen & Grieb, P.A., is a full service firm in Tampa offering closely-held businesses and high net worth individuals a full range of professional services including Accounting, Tax Preparation & Planning, Business Consulting, and Assurance.
If you have questions about collaborative family law, or you wish to have Adam B. Cordover provide continuing education credits at your firm, contact Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm at (813) 443-0615 or CLICK HERE to fill out our online form.
Adam B. Cordover is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator and a Trainer on private dispute resolution who meets or exceeds the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals’ Minimum Standards for Collaborative Trainers. Adam is a co-author on an upcoming American Bar Association book on Building A Collaborative Practice, and he now practices exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution.