What Is Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?

Are you a spouse in Florida who is simply looking for a divorce?  Do you not have any minor children in common with your spouse?  Do you both agree that there are no alimony or child support issues to deal with?  Are all of your marital assets and debts already divided?

If so, you may be eligible for Florida’s Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.

Basics of Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

Simplified Dissolution of Marriage is meant to be a quick and easy way to divorce.  It is authorized by Rule 12.105 of the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure.  Most people going through divorce do not qualify for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.  If you and your spouse meet the following criteria, then you may qualify:

  • You and your spouse do not have any minor or dependent children in common;
  • Neither your nor your spouse are pregnant;
  • Either you or your spouse has resided in Florida for at least six months prior to filing for divorce (only one spouse is required to have been a resident of Florida);
  • Both of you agree that your marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be fixed (by, for example, having the judge order you to attend marital counseling);
  • Neither you nor your spouse are seeking alimony;
  • By agreement, you have already divided all assets and debts, or you agree that there are no assets and debts to divide;
  • Both you and your spouse are willing to waive your right to trial and appeal; and
  • Both you and your spouse are willing and able to appear together at the final hearing.

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Divorce Privacy

When you are going through divorce – a time of great hurt and vulnerability – the last thing you want is to have your pain on public display.  And yet that is exactly what happens if you and your spouse chose to go through the traditional divorce court process.  You have no divorce privacy.

It would not be uncommon for you and your spouse to file allegations against each other in the public court record questioning each other’s parenting skills.  You often have to publicly display in response to written questions any personal belonging you have valued at $100 or more.  Under cross-examination, you may have to justify, in a courtroom available to anyone who wants to watch, your grocery bill, haircut/beauty parlor expenditures, donation to religious organizations and/or charities,  and medicinal needs.

Fortunately, there are processes that allow divorce privacy.  One such process is Collaborative Divorce.

Collaborative Divorce Privacy

In Collaborative Divorce, you and your spouse have separate, independent lawyers.  The lawyers are there solely for the purpose of helping you, privately, reach an out-of-court agreement.  The law prohibits your Collaborative Lawyers from engaging in contested public court hearings.

All negotiations are had in private conference rooms (or secure videoconferencing platforms).  Generally, nothing is filed with the court until you and your spouse have reached a full resolution of all issues.  And, even then, the type and amount of information that does get filed can be greatly minimized.

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Family Law Attorney Review: #DreamTeam

When you retain Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm to represent you in your family law matter, you hire a team.  Attorney Adam B. Cordover and Florida Registered Paralegal Jennifer Gunnin are here to help you every step of the way.

A former client discusses her recent experience on Avvo.  As required by the Florida Bar, please note that each case is different, and we cannot guarantee the same or similar results for you:

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Video: SNL Name Change

This past Saturday, Saturday Night Live returned to the airwaves for its 46th Season.  As a family law lawyer who has helped countless people throughout Florida change their legal names, I was especially intrigued and delighted by the following sketch:

 

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Does Your Divorce Lawyer Meet IACP Minimum Standards for Collaborative Practitioners?

The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals has established Minimum Standards for Collaborative Practitioners, most recently revised in October 2014.  When you consider hiring a divorce attorney, and you are exploring the option of Collaborative Divorce, ask your potential attorney whether he or she meets each of the following Minimum Standards:

1. General Requirements:

1.1 The Collaborative practitioner is a member in good standing of: IACP; and a local Collaborative Practice group.
1.2 The Collaborative practitioner accepts the IACP Mission Statement.
1.3 The Collaborative practitioner diligently strives to practice in a manner consistent with the IACP Ethical Standards for Collaborative practitioners.
1.4 The trainings referred to in 2.2, 3.3 and 4.3 must be trainings that meet the IACP Minimum Standards for trainings delivered by trainers who meet the IACP Minimum Standards for Collaborative Trainers.

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Lawyer Review: A+

We at Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm work hard to help clients through some of the most difficult times in their lives.  We recognize that divorce is tough, and that in many ways it can feel like a death.  The death of a relationship.

We are here for our clients to guide and counsel them.  We reassure them that they will get through it, and we advise them as they are making tough choices each step of the way.

We have been fortunate that many of our clients, surprised at how different we are from other law firms, want to spread the word that there is a better way than traditional divorce court battles.  One such review, below, was recently posted to Google for our St. Petersburg office.

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Cordover Receives FACP Inaugural Visionary Award

At the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals‘ (FACP) 8th Annual Conference, Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover was awarded the inaugural Visionary Award.  The FACP presented this award to recognize Cordover’s work in developing, co-chairing, and co-instructing the inaugural FACP Leadership Institute.

FACP Leadership Institute

In 2014, Cordover graduated the first ever Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.  Since that time, he dreamed of bringing a similar program to Florida.

In 2018, he proposed to the Board of the FACP a one-year intensive course of study to develop future leaders of Collaborative Practice.  Collaborative Practice is an interdisciplinary form of out-of-court dispute resolution where professionals work with families in a private, goal-oriented, non-adversarial method.  It is an alternative to traditional court-based divorce and other family law matters.

Orlando psychologist Deborah Day and Barrie, Ontario lawyer Brian Galbraith joined Cordover to build the program.  As conceived, it would come to consist of three in-person meetings (though, due to current times, the last meeting was held via Zoom) throughout the year, and bi-monthly webinars led by leaders of Florida and International Collaborative communities.  Participants (who would come to be known as “Fellows”) of the Leadership Institute would be expected to present a workshop at an FACP conference.

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Cordover Presents at Israeli Collaborative Divorce Training

Last week, I had the opportunity to present at an Israeli Introductory Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce Training.  I was invited by Idith Schaham, a friend and trainer who taught at the first Hebrew-language Introductory Collaborative Divorce Training and a co-founder of many Collaborative Law Community Centers in Israel.

I presented alongside my Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainer colleague, Jeremy Gaies, Psy.D., with whom I traveled to Israel in December 2018 to discuss Collaborative Practice with fellow professionals.

My presentation focused on “Preparing the Client for Team Meetings.”  Below you will find slides from the presentation, along with some explanation.

Introduction

The presentation started with my introduction.

This slide translates as follows:

Attorney Adam Cordover

  • Board Member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP).
  • Co-author of an American Bar Association (ABA) book on “Building A Successful Collaborative Family Law Practice.”
  • Former President of Next Generation Divorce.
  • Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator.

 

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Collaborative Divorce May Not Be Right For You

Collaborative Divorce is a form of private dispute resolution where you and your spouse agree to use your attorneys solely for the purpose of reaching an out-of-court agreement.  Collaborative Divorce is not for everyone.  Though Collaborative Divorce has worked for thousands of families around the world, it may not be the right process for you.

This article explores whether Collaborative Divorce may not be right for you.

You want your “Day in Court”

You may want your “Day in Court.”  You may feel that, if only you could get in front of a judge, he or she would, of course, see the heroism innate in your positions and the dastardly deeds committed by your spouse.

What most litigants do not realize is that it can take months, or even years, to get in front of a judge to make final decisions regarding your divorce.  And that time in front of a judge can be quite limited, meaning you will only be able to tell the judge a small part of your marital story.  And it is up to the judge to determine which parts are relevant.  Last year, I created the following video to demonstrate this dilemma:

In Collaborative Divorce, judges do not decide outcomes.  You and your spouse decide outcomes.  The only time you go in front of a judge is when you and your spouse have already reached an agreement.

So, if you want your “Day in Court,” Collaborative Divorce may not be right for you.

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St. Petersburg Family Lawyer Review

 

At Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm, we work to help families resolve disputes without fighting in court.  We do this via Collaborative Family Law Practice, mediation, and unbundled legal services.  Most clients appreciate this approach, as we spare them from the trauma and expense of court battles.

A client recently left a review on our Google page.  You can find that review below.

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