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Collaborative Mediation

What is Collaborative Mediation?

If you are getting divorced, you want to move forward as peacefully, quickly, and cost-effectively as possible.  And so you should learn about collaborative mediation.

Mediation

Collaborative mediation is a combination of two forms of private dispute resolution: mediation and collaborative divorce.  In mediation, you meet face-to-face with your spouse along with a neutral mediator (or co-mediators).  The mediator does not decide issues for you.  Rather, the mediator is there to facilitate an agreement between you and your spouse.

What is said during mediation is private and confidential.  This means that statements or offers made in mediation cannot be used against you later in court.  This confidentiality is protected by the Florida Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act (Florida Statutes §§ 44.401-44.406).

Though the mediator can help you and your spouse reach an agreement, he or she cannot provide you with legal advice.  The mediator, for example, cannot tell you if you are making a good or bad deal.

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Cordover Presents on Collaborative Divorce for the Middle Class

On August 24, 2016, Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover spoke in Jacksonville, Florida, on the topic of “Collaborative Divorce for the Middle Class.”  The workshop was organized by the Collaborative Family Law Group of Northeast Florida.

2016-08-24 Jacksonville Collaborative Presentation - Cordover

Collaborative divorce is a process that is available to help families privately and respectfully reach agreements no matter their income level or size of their estate.  Though it has been thought of as alternative dispute resolution for the rich (and it certainly is an effective method for handling complicated cases), more middle class families are learning that it is accessible for them, as well.

If both spouses can hire attorneys, then the question becomes not whether they can afford collaborative practice, but whether they can afford any billable hours being spent on anything other than trying to reach an out-of-court agreement.

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Video: FACP Collaborative Divorce Roundtable

I recently got together with Dr. Jim Morris, a psychologist from Clearwater, and Ed Sachs, a certified public accountant based out of Miami, for a roundtable discussion on collaborative divorce.  Dr. Morris is co-author of Mindful Co-Parenting: A Child-Friendly Path Through Divorce, and Mr. Sachs is Vice President of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“FACP”).

You can find the video of the roundtable discussion, recorded for the FACP, after the jump:

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Face-to-Face Mediation

I have noticed lately that there is a trend among divorce mediators in Tampa Bay: keep spouses separate from one another.  This is known as “caucus”-style mediation, where the spouses are kept in separate rooms from the very beginning of mediation, and the mediator travels back and forth between the rooms relaying information and offers.

There is a good reason why many great mediators prefer caucus-style mediation.  As divorce is a highly-emotional process, spouses can set each other off when they are facing one another, and negotiations can descend into argument and cease being productive.

I can see where caucus-style mediation may be appropriate for some families, but it is not my preferred method.

acordover_logoRather, when I act as the neutral mediator, I prefer to practice face-to-face mediation.

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Florida Supreme Court Certifies Adam B. Cordover As Family Mediator

 

Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover has been certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Family Mediator.  Certification is reserved for those who meet the Florida Supreme Court’s qualifications, attend a 40-hour mediation course, and engage in observations and co-mediations for training purposes.

Florida Supreme Court Mediator

 

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