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).

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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Upcoming Books Help Lawyers Avoid Divorce Wars

Tampa Bay divorce attorney Adam B. Cordover was recently cited in a news article from University of California – Los Angeles’ School of Law.  The article discusses books that teach lawyers to help families resolve divorce and other disputes privately and peacefully.  You can find the article below:

Three new books by UCLA School of Law faculty shine a light on non-traditional forms of practice in order to create greater access to legal services and to help lawyers master alternatives to litigation.

Forrest Mosten

Adjunct Professor Forrest Mosten ’72, a member of the UCLA Law faculty since 2002, and Lecturer Elizabeth Scully are co-authors of The Complete Guide to Mediation and The Family Lawyer’s Guide to Unbundled Legal Services. Mosten also is co-author, with Florida practitioner Adam Cordover, of a third book, Building A Successful Collaborative Practice, to which Scully is contributing a chapter. All three books are published by the American Bar Association. The Complete Guide to Mediation came out in 2015; the other two are slated for publication in 2017.

“We believe that lawyers should be more than gladiators,” said Mosten. “They can be healers and teachers, and their offices can be classrooms of client education. That’s a theme that runs through all of these books and my UCLA courses.”

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Financial Advisers Learn About Collaborative Divorce

Financial advisers are tasked with protecting their clients’ wealth.  And financial advisers want to help clients going through divorce make smart decisions and preserve their assets.  On December 8, 2016, the professionals and staff of the Sabal Trust Company in St. Petersburg, Florida, learned how collaborative divorce can safeguard their clients’ wealth, time, and privacy.

Discussing Collaborative Divorce

Sarah Hoerber, Tanya O’Connor, and Adam B. Cordover at Sabal Trust Company

Sabal Trust is the largest employee-owned trust company in Florida, and its Principals and staff are invested in creating a strategic approach to its clients financial security and growth. That is why they invited Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover along with forensic accountant Sarah Hoerber and Brandon attorney Tanya O’Connor to discuss collaborative divorce.

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Florida State University Business Law Student Interviews a Collaborative Lawyer

Anthony Mazzola

BUL 3310 – 0002

November 23rd, 2016

For this assignment, I had the pleasure of interviewing Adam Cordover. Mr. Cordover practices in Family Law and works for a company named Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm. During the interview, I received a lot of great insight on a new field of law that I have never heard of before, and overall had a great, memorable experience. I mostly used the sample interview questions for this assignment, but I also added a few of my own as I listened to his responses.

-Why did you become an attorney?

“I became an attorney because I like to figure things out. I was always good with puzzles and it seemed like the law was encoded and used all of these complicated terms. I wanted to get to know what all these terms meant and how to decode these terms. Going through law school and becoming a lawyer has helped me out on that.” This response was really interesting to me because most of the time the answer to this question is to help better society or help people out, which is also true for Mr. Cordover as mentioned later, but the idea of law being like a complicated puzzle was a very interesting point to me.

-What type of law do you practice?

“I practice collaborative family law. What that means is that I help families who are going through divorce and other family law matters outside of court. I am not a divorce trial attorney. I practice exclusively out of court dispute resolution.“

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