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Florida Encourages Out-of-Court Dispute Resolution

The following is part of an appellate brief that I wrote which outlines how the Florida legislature, the Florida Supreme Court, and the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Tampa encourages the settlement of disputes, especially in family law matters:

Florida strongly encourages out-of court settlement of disputes. See Fla. Stat. § 61.001(2)(b)-(c) (the purposes of Chapter 61, among other things, are “(b) To promote the amicable settlement of disputes that arise between parties to a marriage; and (c) To mitigate the potential harm to the spouses and their children caused by the process of legal dissolution of marriage.”); In re Report of the Family Law Steering Committee, 794 So. 2d 518, 522-523 (Fla. 2001); see, also, Robbie v. City of Miami, 469 So. 2d 1384, 1385 (Fla. 1985) (“[s]ettlements are highly favored and will be enforced whenever possible.”).

In re Report finds, in part, the following:

The Florida Supreme Court should adopt the following guiding principles as a foundation for defining and implementing a model family court:

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3. All persons, whether children or adults, should be treated with objectivity, sensitivity, dignity, and respect.

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Podcast: Comparing Collaborative Divorce and Mediation

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Garin Vick in Tampa, Florida, where we recorded an interview for his podcast show, Divorce without Destruction.  We discussed the similarities and differences between collaborative divorce and mediation.

We talked about how both are forms of private dispute resolution that are better than duking it out in court.  We also discussed how the structure and the process of collaborative divorce and mediation differ, and what it means for families going through or considering divorce.

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Florida Bar Family Law Section Moves To File Brief In Same Sex Divorce Appeal

The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, representing over 4,000 attorneys and affiliate members, has decided to file a brief in a divorce appeal in favor of the right of same sex spouses in Florida to divorce.  The Family Law Section is joined by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (“AAML”) in what is believed to be the first same sex divorce case in Florida to challenge the state’s Defense of Marriage Act and constitutional amendment banning “gay marriage.”

As an attorney for one of the spouses – who were married in Massachusetts, moved to Florida, and filed for divorce in Hillsborough County – I welcome the support of the Family Law Section and AAML.

In their motion requesting permission to file an amicus brief, the Family Law Section and the AAML write the following:

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Video: A Former Family Law Judge’s Perspective

Judge Michael Porter, a former family law judge, discusses topics ranging from Judge Judy, to emotional versus legal family issues, to alternative forms of dispute resolution (such as collaborative practice and mediation) in the following video:

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