FAMILY LAW MEDIATION IN TAMPA BAY

When most people think of divorce, they have in mind a process where they let a judge decide how property is divided, where the kids sleep at night, and how much financial support is paid. But most families would be better off making these types of life-altering decisions on their own, rather than leave them up to an overworked public official. That is why Family Diplomacy offers private alternatives to litigation, including Collaborative Practice and mediation, which can be used in divorce, paternity, and other family law matters.

A VOLUNTARY DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW PROCESS

Mediation is a voluntary process where you and your spouse meet with a neutral and impartial professional who helps you reach an agreement. The mediator cannot decide issues or impose a settlement; a binding decision will be reached only if both parties agree on its terms. Further, mediation provides you with the flexibility to agree to terms that a judge would never order to meet the particular needs of your family.

Online Divorce Mediation in Florida

Are you heading towards divorce during the coronavirus pandemic?  Are you social distancing and not wanting to risk infection by meeting for negotiations in person?  Would you prefer to proceed with divorce without getting lawyers involved?  Then Online Divorce Mediation may be the best option for you.

The Basics of Divorce Mediation

In Divorce Mediation, whether virtual or in person, you and your spouse together hire a neutral mediator.  As the mediator, I cannot make any orders or force you into an agreement.  Rather, I help facilitate an agreement between you and your spouse.  I can use my general experience and knowledge of the law to provide you with information and help you develop options, though (because I am not acting in the role of a lawyer) I cannot provide legal advice.

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Tips for Divorcing During Coronavirus

These are not normal times, and coronavirus is changing every aspect of life from working, to shopping, to interacting with family.  Divorce is not immune to these changes, and the way you approach divorce must, by necessity, be different.

Here are tips on divorcing during coronavirus.

Take a Breath

Divorce is difficult enough in the best of times.  During coronavirus, you are likely facing two traumas at once:  the end of a relationship with someone you thought you would be with forever, and the upending of your life and inability to go out and be with friends who would otherwise console you.  You or your spouse may begin doing things or saying things that seem completely out of character.

Take a breath.  A deep breath.  Try to center yourself.  This is especially important if you have children who are looking to you to be their rock.  They, too, are probably frightened, and need you to be stable for them when there is much instability around them.

And even if you do not have children, it is important that you make wise decisions now.  After all, these decisions will likely affect the rest of your life.  And you may find that these decisions may be easier if you just stop and take a deep breath first.

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End-of-the-Year Divorce MediationMediation

End-of-the-Year Divorce Mediation

Do you hope to complete your divorce process by the end of the year?  Are you looking for a divorce mediator in Tampa Bay who can meet with you and your spouse in a non-adversarial setting?

We have slots for end-of-the-year divorce mediation open throughout December (including around Christmas).  With us, not only will we work with your schedule, but you will find a different mediation experience than other local mediators offer.  Our model is based on our experience working and authoring a book with internationally-respected leaders in the mediation field.

Let me explain a bit about how we are different in that we encourage face-to-face mediation. This offers several advantages over the caucus-style mediation that is more common in Tampa Bay.

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What is Marital Mediation?

Mediation has been around for a while to help people privately resolve disputes.  Generally, it has been associated with helping parties resolve legal issues, such as divorce, paternity, or even contracts or business disputes.  But mediation can also be used to resolve every day disputes.  In fact, the purpose of marital mediation is to help strengthen marriages.

Marital mediation is a concept promoted by New York psychologist Ken Neumann and Boston family attorney John Fiske.  In marital mediation here in Tampa Bay, you sit down with neutral co-mediators.  One is trained as an attorney, and the other who is trained as a therapist.  However, they will not be providing therapy or giving legal advice.  Rather, the co-mediators help you identify the issues that are causing problems in your marriage and help you reach agreements.

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Cordover Receives Avvo Client Choice Award

Collaborative family law attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator Adam B. Cordover received the 2018 Avvo Client Choice Award.  The Award is provided to attorneys who receive five or more 4+ Stars in a calendar year (all Adam’s reviews have been five out of five stars).

Cordover receives 2018 Avvo Client Choice Award

Below are the reviews in 2018 that lead to the award:

Mr.

Adam was and still has been a tremendous resource to me with my tumultuous divorce process. He was honest and fair – he put me in my place when I got too riled up during the process and provided me a real picture of what needed to be done – and what the potential outcomes could be.

Adam was not an attorney that billed crazy hours and prolonged the case – he was steadfast and eager to help me – he did not ever drag things out like a lot of attorneys do just for some extra billing.

My case ended – and even after we had completed our business relationship, Adam continues to demonstrate his compassion towards me and my challenges with living as a divorced single father – not for the money – he seems to do it because he has taken ownership of my post-divorce challenges at times.

I highly recommend anyone going through a divorce to speak to Adam first about a collaborative approach to marriage termination – as well as all family legal matters.

While no one wants to face the challenges or realities that come with divorce, Adam will show you the truth before anyone else knows it – and help you plan for your future.

Posted by Kenneth on Avvo.

Five out of five stars.

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Alimony Tax Deduction: Is It Too Late To Divorce in 2018?

Have you heard the news about the alimony tax deduction?  It is going away for divorces finalized after December 31, 2018.  But fear not!  If you and your spouse act smartly and quickly, you can still lock in your alimony tax deduction.

What is the Alimony Tax Deduction?

The alimony tax deduction is currently enshrined in 26 U.S. Code section 215.  It states that alimony (as opposed to child support or distribution of property) can be tax deductible to the payor and taxable to the payee.  This means that the person who pays alimony will pay less in taxes, and the person who receives alimony will pay taxes on it as if it were regular income.

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Why Trump and Kim Could Use a Mediator

A mediator is not just for divorce.  In fact, there is an organization, Mediators Beyond Borders, which promotes the use of mediators in all sorts of international conflicts.  A representative of the organization has even spoken in front of the United Nations to encourage mediation.

Mediator

Regardless of your perspective on the recent summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, there is one thing that seems clear to me: they could use a mediator.

How Mediators Could Help in International Diplomacy

Here is how a mediator could help:

  • A mediator is a neutral third party who helps people resolve disputes.  Though the first meeting between the national leaders seems to have had a friendly tone, there is no doubt that things will get tough.  In divorce negotiations, discussions can start off easy, but many times they devolve.  A mediator can be there to keep discussions focused on the future rather than past actions and words that caused the dispute.  A good mediator could keep President Trump and Chairman Kim focused on the future. Read more

How Do I Know If My Kids Are OK During My Divorce?

Divorce is not only stressful and life changing for you, but also for your children. As a parent, you want your children to come out of your divorce as unscathed as possible. How do you ensure that happens?

You are likely more emotional and busier than ever during your divorce process.  However, now is the time to stay connected with your children. Spend special time with them doing activities that they enjoy. Check in with their teachers, coaches, and friends to make sure that they are doing okay.

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Mediation Compared to Collaborative Divorce

There has been a growing recognition over the past few decades that courtroom divorce, an adversarial process that pits husband against wife, is a dreadful and harmful method to resolve family disputes.  As a result, the Florida Supreme Court, like many other judicial bodies, declared that family matters needed “a system that provided nonadversarial alternatives and flexibility of alternatives; a system that preserved rather than destroyed family relationships;…and a system that facilitated the process chosen by the parties.”  In re Report of the Family Law Steering Committee, 794 So. 2d 518, 523 (Fla. 2001).

Two alternatives that have developed to fill this space are mediation and collaborative divorce.  As collaborative divorce is a relatively new option, and there exists much confusion – even among experienced family law practitioners – about the differences between these two methods of dispute resolution, this article looks to compare and contrast mediation and collaborative divorce.

Event versus Process

Mediation is generally a one-time meeting where the parties come together, along with a mediator, to attempt to settle disputes.  In Florida, the parties’ attorneys are also in the room, though other jurisdictions exclude attorneys.  The mediator is a neutral actor who does not have the power to force the parties into any type of settlement, but can only encourage them to reach an agreement.  A mediation conference will generally last from 3 to 8 hours or more.  If the parties cannot reach an agreement in that meeting, then they tend to go to court, usually multiple times.

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Mosten: Is Your Divorce Lawyer Informing You?

If you are considering divorce, you likely think that whether you can have an amicable or collaborative divorce depends wholly on your spouse.  Certainly, the attitude and ability of your spouse to compromise has an effect, but in my experience the attorneys that you and your spouse choose has a much bigger impact.

Beginning A Litigation Divorce

If you and your spouse choose attorneys whose primary orientation is litigation, then there is a good chance that you will face a court battle.  Your litigation attorney will likely draft a petition for dissolution of marriage asking for everything, and then have a process server or sheriff’s officer serve your spouse.  These tactics are all intended to intimidate your spouse and get them to submit.

It should be no surprise that this usually elicits the opposite of the intended response.  Not willing to submit, your spouse hires a “bulldog lawyer,” and the battle is on.  Say goodbye to your children’s college saving.  Know that this money will now be going to your lawyers’ children’s college tuition.

Fortunately, there is a different way.

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