Divorce Process

quickie divorce

A Quicker Way To Divorce – Quickie Divorce

One of the most painful aspects of the traditional divorce process is that it seems to drag on forever. Clients are hauled through case management conferences, temporary relief hearings, depositions, motion hearings, pre-trial conferences, and, finally, oftentimes years later, trial.

But this does not need to be the way you go through one of the toughest times of your life.  There is a quicker way to divorce.

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Divorce Lawyer Reviews: “I felt empowered and more in control of my life and my divorce.”

Divorce can be one of the most turbulent times in your life, and so it makes me feel good when I can help clients gain a sense of empowerment and stability.

In a recent review on Avvo.com, a former client of mine discusses how our firm and the collaborative process helped her take back control of her life.

FLORIDA BAR NOTICE:  Please note that every case is different, and that you may not receive the same or similar results.

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Four Questions to Ask a Collaborative Divorce Lawyer

More and more people are deciding that they want to avoid the traditional adversarial divorce court system and instead handle their family law matter privately and respectfully via the collaborative process.  In collaborative divorce, each spouse receives independent legal advice from his or her own attorney, and the attorneys are retained solely for the purpose of reaching an out-of-court agreement.  Oftentimes, experts will be brought in to help with parenting or financial issues.

collaborative divorce lawyer

As collaborative divorce is becoming more popular and since Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the Collaborative Law Process Act in March 2016, more attorneys who are steeped in the old system of divorce court are now advertising that they offer collaborative services.  The issue is that the skillset needed to successfully help clients reach dignified agreements in collaborative practice is very different than the skillset needed to be an aggressive trial lawyer.

Below are four questions you should ask any attorney you are interviewing to possibly represent you in the collaborative divorce process.

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Divorce Lawyer Client Review: A Complicated Divorce Goes Collaborative

Recently, I came across a very complicated divorce matter where two women had been battling in the court system for six years, even before the State of Florida recognized their marriage.  One of the women ended up firing her aggressive trial attorney and hiring me because I offered an alternative: collaborative divorce.  Once everyone agreed to stop fighting, we were able to reach an agreement within just a few months’ time.

That client, Pattie, recently wrote a touching review about my paralegal, Jennifer, and I at avvo.com.  You can find the review below.

As I am required to note by the Florida Bar, please understand that every case is different, and you may not receive the same or similar results.

The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover & Staff are amazing, professional caring people. Please know that I don’t mean for this review to be long or boring, my intent is to shed hope & shine light into your present life from my past experience and situation.

My situation was very complicated from the start being a same sex marriage which for years was not recognized in the State of Florida until January 2015 and two properties involved.

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Freezing High Conflict Divorce Litigation for the Collaborative Process

I strongly suggest that any person who is in the initial stages of a Florida divorce consider engaging in the collaborative process from the very beginning.  This simply means that each spouses hires an attorney solely for the purpose of helping them reach a divorce agreement.

The attorneys are contractually prohibited from wasting time and money on preparing for trial (90% or so of all divorce cases settle, yet millions and millions of dollars are spent each year preparing for a trial that rarely happens).  Discussions are held in a private, respectful, and transparent atmosphere, and other professionals are brought in as needed to tend to the parties’ financial and emotional needs.

But some clients are resistant to the collaborative process because of perceived cost issues or they feel they need to have a gunslinger to take out their spouse.  And many attorneys will not engage in the collaborative process because litigation work is pretty profitable or they have not invested the time and money in taking an introductory collaborative training.

And so there are plenty of divorce battles going on in the Florida court system.  It is not uncommon for those battles to go on for two, three, four, or more years, and for the parties to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees, expert witness fees, deposition fees, document production fees, forensic evaluation fees, court reporter fees, and so on, and feel no closer to a final resolution of their divorce.

But there is something that can be done to change the dynamics.

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Special Issues in Military Divorce

If you are in a family law matter involving a servicemember, you will encounter some unique issues to which you must pay special attention.

Residency Requirement

Generally, one party to a divorce must have been a resident of Florida for at least six months prior to filing.  However, there is an exception for servicemembers.  A servicemember (or his or her spouse) who is not currently in Florida may petition for divorce in Florida if he or she (i) was a Florida resident prior to entering the military and (ii) never established a permanent residence elsewhere.  Even if the military member had not lived in Florida prior to entering the service, he or she may still be able to file for divorce in Florida if he or she is deployed but has an intent to remain a permanent Florida resident.  Such intent may be evidenced by the following: (i) Florida voter registration; (ii) ownership of a Florida home; or (iii) registration of a vehicle in Florida.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Many of the military issues in a divorce stem from the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (the “SCRA”).  The SCRA was signed into law in 2003 and updated and replaced the Soldiers and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940.  Most provisions of the SCRA apply to the following people on active duty:  (i) members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guards; (ii) members of the National Guard; and (iii) commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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