Family Law

The traditional divorce model pits husband versus wife, mother versus father. Collaborative Law is a refreshing team-oriented alternative. Each client retains a separate attorney whose job is to counsel the client and help resolve disputes. The attorneys work together to help both clients meet their needs. Open communication is advanced by a trained facilitator, while support and property options are developed by a neutral financial professional. The clients, attorneys, and other team members agree beforehand that the matter will not be brought into the court system until a full agreement is reached.

CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO FAMILY MATTERS

The Collaborative Process allows for flexible, creative solutions to a family law matter. The team explores options that look beyond a legal framework by incorporating the skills and expertise of the facilitator and financial professional. Clients are encouraged to focus on the best interests of their family, rather than rigid negotiation positions, to reach their goals. In the unlikely event that a settlement is not reached, the Collaborative attorneys withdraw and litigation lawyers may be retained. The knowledge that the Collaborative attorneys cannot bring the case in front of a judge further permits the parties to speak openly about potential settlement options (and frees attorneys from conducting exhaustive, costly opposition research).

Top 20 Blog Posts of 2017

As we enter the new year, sometimes it is helpful to take a look back.  Below are the top 20 most viewed blog posts here at FamilyDiplomacy.com (Click on the title to visit the blog post):

1. SB 590: New Florida Law on Child Support and Parenting Plans

On June 15, 2017, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 590 (“SB 590”) into law.  SB 590 directs the Department of Revenue to provide parents with a proposed Standard Parenting Time Plan in Title IV-D child support cases.  The bill also authorizes the Department of Revenue to establish agreed-upon parenting plans.  Further, SB 590 waives court costs for families in a Title IV-D case who cannot agree on a parenting plan and are asking the courts to establish a plan.

2. Video: General’s Daughter Discusses Her Peaceful Divorce

Cynthia Schwarzkopf, daughter of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr, discusses how she and her husband utilized the collaborative family law process to dissolve her marriage in a video released by the Tampa Bay Collaborative Divorce Group.

3. How Often Do Collaborative Divorces Terminate?

Good, you have decided that if you are going to divorce, you are going to do it collaboratively. This means that you and your spouse will each have your own attorneys, but the attorneys are not there to fight. You hire the attorneys to help reach an out-of-court agreement so you can move on with your lives.

But you may also know that either spouse at any time can decide they no longer want to participate in the collaborative divorce, causing it to terminate. All professionals are automatically fired. The spouses then proceed as “opposing parties” in the traditional divorce court route.

The possibility of losing your attorney is a scary notion. So, you may be wondering to yourself, how often do collaborative divorces terminate?

4. Collaborative Law Rules Approved by Florida Supreme Court

On May 18, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court published an opinion approving collaborative law rules.  The collaborative law rules are the last step necessary before Florida’s Collaborative Law Process Act goes into effect.

The opinion approves Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 4-1.19 and Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.745.

5. 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.

6. 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.

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Collaborative Law Training Ft. Lauderdale – January 5-6, 2018

Give yourself and your clients a Christmas gift: Become trained in Collaborative Family Law!  Learn to address not only the legal needs of divorcing clients, but also the psychological and financial needs.  Find out what it is like to approach family law in a team-based manner, as opposed to an adversarial manner.

Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers

Adam B. Cordover, Jeremy Gaies, Kristin DiMeo, and Enid Miller Ponn Demonstrate a Collaborative Divorce Team Prep Meeting

Join the Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida, right outside of Ft. Lauderdale.

What2-DAY Interdisciplinary Introductory/Refresher Collaborative Training

Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida

Sponsor: Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida

Where: Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Ave., Davie, FL  – Maltz Psychology Building (around Ft. Lauderdale)

When:  January 5-6, 2018 (A third, locally staffed advanced training will take place on January 14, 2018)

Continuing Education: CEUs, CMES, and CLEs will be applied for

Registration Now Open!  Click Here!

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Pensacola Introductory & Advanced Collaborative Training November 2-4

Did you know that there was a major change to Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes regarding Collaborative Family Law?  Are you confident that you can competently abide by Florida’s new Collaborative Law Rule of Professional Conduct and Rule of Procedure?  Or do you just want to learn how to help people divorce in a less stressful, more respectful, and child-centered manner?

Attorneys, mental health professionals, financial professionals, mediators, and others are welcomed to Pensacola for an Introductory and Advanced training on Interdisciplinary Collaborative Family Law!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW!

What/When:  

  • Introductory Interdisciplinary Collaborative Training – November 2-3, 2017
  • Enrolling the Collaborative Case Advanced Training – November 4, 2017

Where:  Pensacola, Florida

Cost:

  • $500 for 2-Day Introductory Training
  • $200 for Advanced Training (Enrolling the Collaborative Case)
  • Discounted rate of $650 for all 3 days

Host:  West Florida Collaborative Law, Inc.

Trainers:  Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers

Learn more: Contact John Susko, Esq. at john@susko-collab-med.com OR Joshua Jones, Esq., at jjones@westfloridacollaborativelaw.com

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW!

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Pictures: Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals 2017 Conference

In June 2017, the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals held its fifth annual conference right here in Tampa.  The theme of the conference was “Get In On The Act,” in celebration of the recent passage of the Collaborative Law Process Act.

Over 200 attorneys, mental health professionals, financial professionals, and others attended the conference to delve into introductory, intermediate, and advanced topics in collaborative practice.  There were also quite a few attendees from outside of Florida, from areas as far away as Erie, Pennsylvania and Barrie, Ontario, Canada.

Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover presented for two of the workshops at the conference:

  • Collaborative Unscripted: The Role of Creativity in the Process (with Kristin DiMeo, CPA; Jeremy Gaies, Psy.D.; David Harper, CPA; and Barbara Kelly, Ph.D.); and
  • The Cost of Collaboration: Efficiency vs. Cutting Corners (with Brian Galbraith, LL.B., LL.M.; and Melissa Sulkowski, M.A., LPC)

You can find pictures of the conference below:

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collaborative family law firm

20 Most Read Blog Posts: First Half of 2017

Family Diplomacy is thankful for the readers of our blog.  We find it helpful to look back every once and a while to see which blog posts our readers find most interesting.

Below, you will find our 20 most read blog posts for the first half of 2017:

1. Video: General’s Daughter Discusses Her Peaceful Divorce

Cynthia Schwarzkopf, daughter of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr, discusses how she and her husband utilized the collaborative family law process to dissolve her marriage…

2.  What is Collaborative Mediation?

Collaborative mediation is a combination of two forms of private dispute resolution: mediation and collaborative divorce

3.  Tampa Courts Crack Down On Frivolous Litigation

On June 5, 2017, the Honorable Ronald N. Ficarrotta, Chief Judge of the Thirteenth Circuit in and for Hillsborough County (which includes Tampa), entered an administrative order seeking to sanction and crack down on frivolous litigation…

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Statewide Collaborative Conference in Tampa June 2017

The 5th Annual Conference of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“FACP”) will take place in Tampa June 9-10th.  The conference is an opportunity meet like-minded professionals from throughout the state, learn cutting edge practices, gain tips for marketing and initial consultations, and learn about the impact of the Collaborative Law Process Act (Part III of Chapter 61, Florida Statutes).

FACP logo horizonatal with Tagline

Additionally, if you are a neutral and serious about improving your skills, there is a pre-conference advanced training on “Leading Clients Through Option-Building” lead by internationally renowned trainers.  This advanced training will take place on June 8.

You can learn more about the conference and register at the following link:  http://www.collaborativepracticeflorida.com/event/5th-annual-florida-academy-collaborative-professionals-conference-tampa/ 

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Cordover Keynotes Panama City Collaborative Meeting

On April 21, 2017, Tampa Bay family attorney Adam B. Cordover provided a keynote address at the annual meeting of the Northwest Florida Collaborative Law Group in Panama City.  Adam spoke on the topic of “Growing Your Collaborative Practice: Doing Well By Doing Good.”

Attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals from Panama City, Tallahassee, and as far away as Pensacola attended the meeting.

Here is a description of the program (And a copy of the flyer here):

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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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Woody Mosten and Peacemaking Practice Trainers

Video: Woody Mosten Addresses Association for Conflict Resolution

Forrest (Woody) Mosten has been on the cutting edge of the law since the 1970s.  He has been a pioneer in the fields of unbundled legal services, mediation, and collaborative practice, and he has also authored the following books on these topics (you can order them here):

  • The Complete Guide to Mediation: The Cutting-Edge Approach to Family Law Practice (2d Edition, ABA, 2015) (with Elizabeth Scully)
  • Collaborative Divorce Handbook: Effectively Helping Divorcing Families Without Going to Court (Jossey-Bass, 2009)
  • The Mediation Career Guide (Jossey-Bass, 2001)
  • Unbundling Legal Services (ABA, 2000)

In 2011, Woody keynoted at the Association of Conflict Resolution.  You can find the video from part of the speech below:

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Collaborative Divorce Training Review: “Amazing!”

Fifty plus attorneys, mental health professionals, financial professionals, and students successfully completed a two-day Introductory Collaborative Family Law Training at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  The training was led by Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover along with psychologist Jeremy Gaies and accountants Kristin DiMeo and David Harper, all of the Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers.

Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers

Adam B. Cordover, Jeremy Gaies, Kristin DiMeo, and Enid Miller Ponn Demonstrate a Collaborative Divorce Team Prep Meeting

The purpose of the training is to educate members of various professions on how they can help families go through divorce privately, efficiently, and as peacefully as possible.

“Excellent!  Well organized, informative, funny, and thorough!  You kept our attention during some very dry ‘legal-ease,’ and are all great team players,” praised Professor Randy Heller, the organizer of the training.

Adam B. Cordover alongside David Harper going over a fact pattern at a collaborative divorce training.

“You are amazing!” proclaimed Nancy Brodzki, president of the Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida, the main sponsors of the training.  When asked what other topics she was interested in attending, Nancy responded, “Any collaborative training you offer.”

“Adam is extremely knowledgeable, well-spoken, and a huge asset to the collaborative divorce program,” said attendee and attorney Honit Simon.  “Adam did well in combining practice with theory,” commented another attendee, mental health student Solomon Udo.

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