Video: How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?

Have you heard of Collaborative Divorce?  If you are considering dissolving your marriage, it is an option to take control of your future and keep your private life outside of the public courtroom.

But how does Collaborative Divorce work?

In the video below from CBS Pittsburg, Collaborative Professionals Paula Hopkins and Marlene Boas explain the Collaborative Process.

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Gender Non-Conforming Legal Name Change

If you are gender non-conforming and living in Florida, you may not know where to turn to change your legal name.  At Family Diplomacy, we pride ourselves in offering a welcoming environment.  From the moment you contact us, we will listen to and address your concerns, determine your eligibility for a name change, and stand by your side throughout the legal process.

We are here for you.

Gender Non-Conforming Definitions

For those reading this post who may not be familiar with this term, the Human Rights Campaign defines gender non-conforming as “[a] broad term referring to people who do not behave in a way that conforms to the traditional expectations of their gender, or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category. While many also identify as transgender, not all gender non-conforming people do.”

PFLAG, which describes itself as “the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies,” defines gender non-conforming as follows:

A term for those who do not follow gender stereotypes. Often an umbrella for nonbinary genders (see TGNC). Though fairly uncommon, some people view the term as derrogatory, so they may use other terms including gender expansive, differently gendered, gender creative, gender variant, genderqueer, nonbinary, agender, genderfluid, gender neutral, bigender, androgynous, or gender diverse. PFLAG National uses the term gender expansive. It is important to respect and use the terms people use for themselves, regardless of any prior associations or ideas about those terms.

For purposes of this article, we use the term gender non-conforming.  However, if you prefer another term, please let us know when you contact us and we will respect your preference.

Eligibility for Florida Gender Non-Conforming Name Change

Regardless of where you were born, if you live in the Sunshine State, Florida courts have jurisdiction to change your legal name.  You may petition for a name change if you are an adult, and a parent may petition on your behalf if you are a child.  Once your petition for change of name is filed, the request will often be granted unless a Court finds that (i) you have improper or illegal motives in seeking the name change, (ii) your civil rights are suspended (for example, by being convicted of a felony), or (iii) granting you a name change will invade the property rights (e.g., intellectual property rights) of others.

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Divorce: Is Bitcoin a Marital Asset?

Bitcoin has sure been in the news a lot lately.  The cryptocurrency, though volatile, has traded at over $50,000 in recent weeks.  Billionaires have publicized opposing views about Bitcoin, with Bill Gates warning investors to stay away while Elon Musk has sung its praise.  Regardless, more people seem to be getting on the Bitcoin bandwagon, and thus it is popping up more and more in divorce matters.

In fact, you may be wondering: Is Bitcoin a marital asset for purposes of divorce?

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Protecting Your Reputation During Divorce

You have worked hard for your reputation.  The last thing that you need is for your personal details to become fodder for colleagues, competitors, or the public.  But is there a more private way to go through divorce and protect your reputation?

There is.  And it is called Collaborative Divorce.

Collaborative Divorce: The Basics

In Collaborative Divorce, you and your spouse have separate lawyers.  The lawyers are there solely for the purpose of helping you reach an out-of-court agreement.  The lawyers cannot be used for fighting in court or engaging in media battles between you and your spouse.

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Recent Tampa & St. Petersburg Family Lawyer Reviews: Professional and Knowledgeable

We at Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm are dedicated to helping our clients get through tough times and traverse an oftentimes murky legal process.  Whether we are working with families going through Collaborative Divorce, Mediation, Adoption, Legal Name Change, or other family law matters, we put our clients’ interests first.

And we are especially grateful when our clients and former clients take the time to provide us with feedback and let others know about their experiences.

Below are recent reviews of our services left by former clients on Avvo.com.  The headings are written by the former clients (though we have used clients’ initials rather than writing their full names).

Please note that every family law matter is unique and we cannot guarantee the same or similar results for your family law matter.

Professional and knowledgeable

Adam’s approach is thoughtful and very professional. His help was invaluable in getting through the process.

Five stars

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February 2021 Virtual Introductory Collaborative Divorce Training

Are you a family law professional burnt out by divorce court battles?  Do you want to help families resolve their differences without pitting spouse versus spouse, parent versus parent?  Do you want to work in a team environment that integrates the skillsets of attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then now may be time for you to become trained in Collaborative Family Law.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND REGISTER FOR COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE TRAINING

 

This course is intended for lawyers, mental health professionals, financial professionals, mediators, and others who believe there is a better way to help clients through difficult times. We will not be focusing on any specific jurisdiction, so anyone regardless of location is welcome. Even those who have previously attended an Introductory Training will learn cutting edge tools for their practice as well as skills and techniques for conducting Collaborative Divorce matters via Zoom.

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A Collaborative Divorce?

When you think of divorce, you probably think of court battles.  War of the Roses or Kramer vs. Kramer may come to mind.  Just the thought of your entire life being scrutinized and laid bare in a public courtroom is probably enough to send shivers down your spine.

But you may have heard of an alternative: “Collaborative Divorce.”  What exactly is it, and can divorce even be “Collaborative?”

Collaborative Divorce: A Simple Idea

Collaborative Divorce starts with a simple idea:  your family doesn’t belong in court.  You are likely not looking to make an enemy out of your spouse; you probably just want to move on with your life without harming your children (if any).

And so in Collaborative Divorce, you and your spouse have your own separate, independent attorneys to counsel each of you.  But the attorneys are there solely for the purpose of helping you reach an out-of-court agreement.  Your Collaborative Lawyers are prohibited from fighting in court on your behalves.  This means that no time, money, or energy is spent on you and your spouse trying to tear one another apart for the purposes of preparing for trial.

Your attorneys’ jobs are to help you find a resolution that works for your family.

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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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