Collaborative practice is a form of private dispute resolution where parties and their attorneys agree that they will focus all of their time, energy, and money on reaching an agreement. Oftentimes, experts in the realm of accounting, finances, and relationships are brought in to help the parties.
Collaborative practice has mainly been used in the area of divorce and family law as an alternative to public courtroom fights. What is less well known is that it is also being used in the civil law arena to resolve wills, trusts, and guardianship disputes, insurance and malpractice matters, and business dissolutions.
In recognition of the growing role of collaborative practice in civil areas, in 2015 the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida, a statewide umbrella group with over 450 members, changed its name to the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“FACP”). The FACP also recently unveiled its newly redesigned website, which is accessible at http://www.collaborativepracticeflorida.com/.
The mission of the FACP is to “promote the Collaborative Process throughout Florida to help its families, couples, individuals and businesses resolve disputes confidentially, respectfully, and without going to court.”
The goals of the FACP are as follows:
- To create and foster networks among Collaborative interdisciplinary practice groups in Florida;
- To develop and promote consistent practice standards for all Collaborative professionals in Florida;
- To educate the public about the Collaborative Process;
- To support the Collaborative Process by teaching Collaborative methods to fellow interdisciplinary Collaborative professionals and to graduate students; and
- To support the formation of other Collaborative interdisciplinary practice groups in Florida.
The FACP will be holding its annual statewide conference for professionals here in Tampa May 20-21, 2016. From the FACP website:
Join the 4th Annual Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals Conference in the peaceful resolution process that is transforming the lives of clients, lawyers, and financial and mental health professionals. Explore the power of the Collaborative team, the critical role of each of the members and making Collaborative process work for all clients. Attorney Victoria Smith’s keynote will address customizing Collaborative advocacy to the client and the case and how neutrals are essential to support effective Collaborative problem solving.
The Conference is the opportunity to be introduced to or sharpen your skills in Collaborative process. Collaborative process is not just what you already do when you settle a case. It’s a transformative process that takes families in crisis and models problem solving and dispute resolution methods to take them—and you—to a peaceful and more productive life. Transform your practice—and your life—to one that positively shapes the next generation of children of divorce.
Presentations on: marketing and growing your collaborative practice, strategies and tools to maximize team effectiveness (and avoid dysfunction); ethical considerations; and the role of the law in collaborative practice are just some of the topics that will be covered. Breakout sessions will offer options for beginning and more advanced practitioners and on expanding Collaborative process beyond family law.
Attorneys, mental health professionals, financial professionals, mediators, judges, and other supporters of collaborative practice can find out more about the conference and register at http://www.collaborativepracticeflorida.com/event/annualconf/.
Florida has quickly become one of the fastest growing states for the use of collaborative practice, and Tampa Bay and Greater Sarasota, in particular, have been a big driver in that growth. The FACP will help ensure that Florida’s families and citizens will continue to benefit from this private and respectful method to resolve disputes.
If you have questions regarding how collaborative practice can help you reach a private agreement in your divorce or other matter, schedule a consultation with Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm, at (813) 443-0615 or click here to fill out our contact form.
Collaborative Attorney Adam B. Cordover is on the Board of Directors of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and he is co-chair of the FACP Research Committee. Adam now practices exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services.