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Collaborative Divorce: Keeping the Process Out of the Courts

The following passage of an article from the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay discusses a collaborative law agreement, how parties are encouraged to settle rather than institute a court action, and the differences between collaborative divorce and mediation:

     Once you decide that Collaborative Divorce is right for you, the first step is for each party and their attorney to sign a Collaborative Law Agreement. This agreement serves as a contract which ensures that the lawyers will act solely as settlement counsel only. By serving as settlement counsel your lawyers are contractually barred from ever going to Court in your divorce case. However, if at some point either party decides it would be more beneficial for the Court to settle a particular matter, you can terminate the Agreement at any time. This helps give you ultimate control of how your case is handled and guarantees an outcome suitable for all parties. It is important to remember that if you or the other party chooses to take a contested matter to the Court both attorneys are fired instantly and can not represent you before the court. Because the purpose of Collaborative divorce is to settle matters amicably and civilly, choosing to take a matter to the court is highly discouraged and may be to the detriment of both parties. This feature of Collaborative Divorce also enhances the possibility of a mutually pleasing outcome and encourages attorneys and clients to work in everyone’s best interest.

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What is Collaborative Divorce?

You may have heard the term “collaborative divorce,” but you may not know what it means.  Below is an explanation from The Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay:

What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative Law, or Collaborative Practice, is a new way for individuals to resolve disputes peacefully and respectfully. It is an approach to dispute resolution which does not include the traditional court system. Collaborative Divorce is a specific area of Collaborative Law which gives people facing divorce the opportunity to resolve their issues amicably and with dignity by offering the invaluable resources of attorneys, mediators, and child and life therapists all at one time and in one place. It is often called a “no-court divorce.” Collaborative Law is for people who wish to work cooperatively with their partner in resolving issues, while maintaining control of their situation and working creatively to find answers that will work in the best interest of all parties, instead of leaving it up to the courts.

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Is the Collaborative Process Right for You?

Collaborative family law is an innovative process that focuses on creating settlements that work for all involved.  It takes discussions of intimate issues out of a public courtroom and into the private offices of attorneys and other professionals.

But is this process right for you?  The Collaborative Law Institute of Texas suggests that you should consider collaborative family law if some of the following statements are true:

  • You want a civilized and dignified resolution of the dispute.
  • You would like to retain the possibility of friendship with the other party.
  • You want the best co-parenting relationship.
  • You want to minimize or eliminate the damage that the hostility and conflict of litigation often causes children.

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Video: Collaborative Divorce Discussed on the Today Show

In the video below, collaborative divorce is discussed on NBC’s Today Show.  A couple and their attorneys delve into the benefits and process of this innovative type of family law practice:

As alluded to above, collaborative divorce is a team-centric model.  It is ideal for cases in which children are involved, as the collaborative team focuses on finding ways to maintain civility and a modicum of normality in difficult times.   Clients are in control of the process, as it is outside of the court system and that institution’s often-times rigid schedules and procedures.  Further, privacy is maintained because discussions are confidential and held within private offices rather than in open court.

If you have questions regarding collaborative divorce and wish to speak with a Tampa Bay attorney, call The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or visit fill out our contact form.

Comparison: Collaborative Law versus Litigation and Mediation

The Collaborative Law Institute of Texas provides the following table which compares collaborative family law to mediation and traditional litigation:

Collaborative Law

Litigation

Mediation

Comments and Explanations

Each party has independent legal advice

yes

yes

sometimes

Mediators cannot give legal advice to spouses.  Sometimes (but rarely in Texas) clients will go to mediation without lawyers.  This will work in simple cases, but not in complex cases where parties need advice about their legal rights.
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A Collaborative Option for Family Law Matters

Please make sure to visit our updated webpage on collaborative family law (http://www.familydiplomacy.com/practice-areas/collaborative-divorce).

Video: Collaborative Divorce from Clients’ Perspectives Part 2

Collaborative law is a team-oriented alternative to the traditional litigation model.  It allows for the exploration and implementation of creative, flexible solutions while offering an assurance of privacy.

In the video below (Part 2), several clients* in Texas describe their experience with interdisciplinary collaborative divorce.  The discussion is led by Linda Solomon, a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Board Member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and Trainer at Lone Star Collaborative Training.

If you have questions regarding collaborative family law and you wish to schedule a consultation with a collaborative attorney in Tampa Bay, call The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

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Video: Collaborative Divorce from Clients’ Perspectives Part 1

Collaborative law is a team-oriented alternative to the traditional litigation model.  It allows for the exploration and implementation of creative, flexible solutions while offering an assurance of privacy.

In the video below, several clients* in Texas describe their experience with interdisciplinary collaborative divorce.  The discussion is led by Linda Solomon, a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Board Member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and Trainer at Lone Star Collaborative Training.

If you have questions regarding collaborative family law and you wish to schedule a consultation with a collaborative attorney in Tampa Bay, call The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

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