As a professional, executive, politician, sports figure, or otherwise high profile individual in Tampa Bay, you have a bigger incentive than most to keep your high net worth divorce amicable and private. You do not need your dirty laundry aired in the media, and you want to minimize the amount of financial information in the public court file. Further, you want to protect your kids from a potential circus environment.
For you, there is collaborative divorce.
Specialized Attorneys to Stay Out of Court
Collaborative divorce is a private form of dispute resolution where you and your spouse each have your own attorneys to provide you with advice. The attorneys have specialized training to focus solely on reaching an out-of-court agreement. This means that no time, energy, or money is spent on expensive and embarrassing trial tactics such as depositions, fishing expeditions, or opposition research. The attorneys are there to help you reach an agreement and move on with your lives, plain and simple.
A Collaborative Facilitator Helps With Emotional Fallout
When you go through divorce, you experience a trauma and often cannot thinking clearly. With this fact in mind, a collaborative facilitator aids you and your spouse through the process. The facilitator is like a mediator, in that he or she is neutral, but different in that he or she is a specialist in communication, family dynamics, and/or childhood development. And the facilitator will work with you and your spouse to focus on the future rather than the arguments of the past. The facilitator will also help you engage in interest-based negotiations rather than stick to rigid or arbitrary positions. If you have children, the facilitator will help craft a developmentally appropriate parenting plan tailored to your family’s needs, rather than try to fit your kids into a cookie-cutter parenting plan.
A Financial Professional for High Net Worth Divorce
By the very nature of what you have accomplished, you are no doubt concerned about finances in your high net worth divorce. This is why collaborative divorce utilizes a neutral financial professional. The financial professional, who has an accounting or financial planning background, develops sophisticated options for the division of assets and debts and for support. He or she also ensures that spouses are able to make informed decisions by serving as a repository for the family’s financial documents and information. This allows for transparency so that each spouse can trust (or distrust) but verify financial claims.
Ultimate Privacy in Your Divorce
Collaborative discussions for high net worth divorce take place in private conference rooms rather than the public courthouse. There are no court reporters or transcripts of nasty accusations that get filed with the clerk of court. Your attorneys greatly minimize the amount of financial information that can make it into the public domain. You do not need to worry about competitors, the media, or even your children learning about the toughest moments in your life.
If you are a high net worth individual in Tampa Bay contemplating divorce, do yourself and your family a favor by learning about the collaborative process.
Adam B. Cordover is co-author of an upcoming American Bar Association book on collaborative divorce. He is one of the most experienced collaborative attorneys in Tampa Bay, and he has lead workshops and trainings on collaborative divorce for judges, attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada.