What is a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?

Did you know that Florida offers a type of divorce that is relatively quick and painless?  This type of divorce does away with most of the mandatory financial disclosure requirements of other types of divorce, and you may be able to schedule a final hearing within a month of filing your paperwork.

What I am describing is known in Florida as a “simplified dissolution of marriage.”

Generally, a simplified dissolution of marriage is ideal for cases where there is a short-term marriage, no children, few (if any) shared assets, and you and your spouse are on good speaking terms.

Keep in mind that Florida does not allow everyone to go through the simplified process. You can only file for a simplified dissolution of marriage if all of the following statements are true:

  • You and your spouse have not had children together, either by birth or adoption;
  • The wife is not pregnant;
  • Either you or your spouse (or both) have resided in Florida for at least six months prior to filing for divorce;

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Video: Ten Reasons to Choose Collaborative Divorce

Click the following link to view a video produced by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. The video follows Sally and Lionel, a couple that have agreed to let cameras into their interdisciplinary collaborative divorce process:

Additionally, the video expounds upon the following ten reasons to chose collaborative divorce over the traditional litigation model:

1) Lawyers are specially trained to reduce conflict and negotiate wise settlements

2) The opportunity to protect your children from the damage caused by a high conflict divorce Read more

Text of Changes to the Alimony Statute

On July 1, 2011, changes to section 61.08, Florida Statutes (the “Alimony Statute”) went into effect.  These changes narrow the circumstances under which permanent, periodic alimony will be awarded.  Below you will find the affected portions of the Alimony Statute, with the new language underlined:

61.08 Alimony.—

(2)        In determining whether to award alimony or maintenance, the court shall first make a specific factual determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony or maintenance and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance. If the court finds that a party has a need for alimony or maintenance and that the other party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance, then in determining the proper type and amount of alimony or maintenance under subsections (5)-(8), the court shall consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:

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Will Collaborative Divorce Work in Your Case?

The collaborative law process may not be for every case.  The Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay has some suggestions to help you determine whether the collaborative approach is right for you:

Perhaps you are ready for a divorce but are unsure of whether to approach the matter using the traditional court-based solution or whether you should turn to the new growing phenomenon of Collaborative Divorce. How do you know if this alternative is right for you?

If you wish and are able to:

  • Maintain a tone of respect, even when facing a difficult decision or disagreement.
  • Prioritize the needs of your children.
  • Listen objectively and consider the needs of you and your spouse equally.
  • Work to devise creative and unique solutions to your issues.
  • Plan for the future by reaching beyond your current frustration.
  • Behave ethically when interacting with your spouse and other Collaborative professionals.
  • Maintain control of the divorce process and not relegate it to the courts if a difficult situation arises.

Then Collaborative Divorce is a workable option for you. If this sounds like a comfortable solution for you we suggest you talk to a Collaborative lawyer or other Collaborative professional about your situation so they may help you make your final decision.

Attorney Adam B. Cordover has completed advanced training in interdisciplinary  collaborative family law and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay.

If you wish to schedule a consultation with a collaborative lawyer, call The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at 813-443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

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



Comments and Explanations

Each party has independent legal advice




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 (