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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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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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Audio: Next Generation Divorce’s Derek Lucas Radio Interview

Next Generation Divorce Co-Chair Derek Lucas recently appeared on WDUV 105.5 FM’s Sunday Morning, a news and public affairs program of Cox Media Group hosted by Mimi Lawson.  WDUV (also known as The Dove) covers New Port Richey and Tampa Bay in the Gulf Coast of Florida.

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Derek went on the program to discuss collaborative divorce, a private, respectful alternative to traditional courtroom divorce.  In collaborative divorce, both spouses retain their own attorneys, and the attorneys focus solely on helping the spouses reach an out-of-court parenting plan and marital settlement agreement.  This means that no time, money, or energy is wasted on opposition research, motion practice, or trial preparation.

Oftentimes, a neutral facilitator with a license in counseling or therapy is retained to help the spouses focus on what is most important to them (such as the health and well-being of their children) rather than the arguments of the past.  Further, a financial professional is many times used to ensure financial transparency between the spouses and to help develop a plan for support and the division of assets and debts that is personally tailored for the family.

You can find the sixteen minute interview after the jump:

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Jennifer Gunnin: Working With A Peacemaking Collaborative Attorney

My paralegal, Jennifer Gunnin, has now been with my firm for over 3 years.  She was with me when I was still accepting litigation work, and so she saw the toll that lengthy, nasty court battles had on divorcing spouses and their children.

And she has seen the transition of my practice.  In July of last year (2015), on the fifth anniversary of my shingle being hung, we changed the name of the business from The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., to Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm.  Further, we pledged that we would not take on any new litigation cases, and that we would focus exclusively on helping clients resolve their family law matters outside of court via collaborative practice, mediation, and unbundled legal services (we also offer adoption and name change legal services).

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Since we shifted our focus to private dispute resolution, Jennifer attended a two-day basic collaborative training (one that is usually reserved for attorneys, financial professionals, and mental health professionals) so that she could better understand the process and help our clients who are utilizing the collaborative process.

One day, my office received a call from Forrest (Woody) Mosten, an internationally acclaimed mediator and collaborative attorney from California, about an American Bar Association book that he and I are co-authoring on Building A Collaborative Law Practice.  Jennifer picked up the phone, and they talked about the new focus of our firm, her training, and what it was like to work in a newly courtless practice.  Woody suggested that she write an article on Working With A Peacemaking Collaborative Attorney.

And so she did.

You can find her article published at The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, part of which is published below the jump.

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Video: Child Wants Divorcing Parents to be Friends

When most people go through divorce, they are consumed by their emotions.  No matter how you look at it, divorce is a trauma.  However, people oftentimes forget how the divorce is affecting children.  And they forget that children are keenly aware of how parents treat one another during divorce.

A video that has been going around the internet lately shows a little girl talking to her mom about how she wants her divorcing parents to be friends and treat each other well.  You can find the video after the jump.

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Collabortive Professionals Honor Florida Legislators

Two hundred members of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“FACP”) gathered in Tampa to honor Florida legislators and others for their leadership in passing the Collaborative Law Process Act (“CLPA”).  The CLPA, among other things, protects the privacy of families going through divorce.  It creates a statutory privilege (like the attorney-client privilege) that, except under limited circumstances, ensures that what is said during a collaborative divorce process cannot be used against a spouse in court.

In 2016, Senator Tom Lee introduced the CLPA bill in the Florida Senate.  Representative Cyndi Stevenson, with the support of Representative Dana Young, introduced a version in Florida’s House of Representatives.  All three were given awards by Florida’s statewide collaborative organization for helping to protect Florida’s families via the CLPA.

 

 

Pictured, from left to right, are Senator Tom Lee, Cole Jeffries, Robert Merlin, Judge Laurel Lee, Representative Dana Young, and Representative Cyndi Stevenson.

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Unique Forms of Collaborative Law in Tampa Bay

Collaborative practice is not just for divorce.  It is most commonly associated with divorce, but it can be used as a non-adversarial, private form of dispute resolution in many different scenarios.  Further, there are many cases where a divorce does not begin collaboratively, and yet ends up in the collaborative process.

Below are links to posts written by Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover on unique forms of collaborative practice in Tampa Bay:

A Complicated Divorce Goes Collaborative

http://familydiplomacy.com/blog/family-law-news/client-review-a-complicated-divorce-goes-collaborative/

Do You Need a Divorce Second Opinion?

http://familydiplomacy.com/blog/collaborative-divorce/do-you-need-a-divorce-second-opinion/

Collaborative Law in Medical Malpractice

http://familydiplomacy.com/blog/collaborative-divorce/video-collaborative-law-in-medical-malpractice/

Polyamorous Divorce in Tampa Bay

http://familydiplomacy.com/blog/lgbt-family-law-matters/polyamorous-divorce-in-tampa-bay/

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Client Review: Collaborative Divorce Handled Efficiently and with Kindness

Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm strives to serve its clients with compassion and respect.  Especially when clients are facing the most difficult times, we are there to serve as a reliable and constructive resource.

Avvo - Rate your Lawyer. Get Free Legal Advice.

A client on Avvo.com recently reviewed her collaborative divorce experience.  You can find the review after the jump.

Please note that each case is different, and you may not receive the same or similar results.

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Cordover Guest Speaker at Clearwater Bar Association Meeting

On April 13, 2016, collaborative attorney Adam B. Cordover was a guest speaker at a meeting of the Clearwater Bar Association Family Law Section.  Cordover presented alongside Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Collaborative Facilitator Linda Peterman and Merrill Lynch Certified Financial Planner and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Jim Spicer on “Collaborative Family Law – Offering A Cutting Edge Alternative to Courtroom Divorce.”

Collaborative divorce is a private form of alternative dispute resolution where the spouses and their attorneys work together to respectfully reach an agreement that is acceptable to both.  Rather than focus on the arguments of the past, collaborative attorneys coach their clients to focus on the future and on what is most important to them, such as the health and well-being of their children.

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Florida Trend Article Features Cordover and Collaborative Law

The April 2016 edition of Florida Trend Magazine featured Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover in an article on Collaborative Divorce.  The article, titled “Avoiding a Fracas with Collaborative Divorce” (subscription required), described benefits and drawbacks of collaborative practice for executives and business owners.

You can find excerpts from the article below:

Last July, five years after launching his practice, divorce attorney Adam Cordover decided he was finished going to court.  “I’d spent most of my career fighting in court for clients and had seen the devastating effects.  I’d seen clients literally go crazy,” says Cordover.  “I decided I no longer wanted to be part of it.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Trend#/media/File:Florida_Trend_June_2012_Cover.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Trend#/media/File:Florida_Trend_June_2012_Cover.jpg

He converted his firm to a litigation-free practice focused on what’s known as collaborative law.  In a collaborative divorce, a couple agrees to settle their differences outside the courtroom through negotiations.

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