Posts

Cordover Teaches Collaborative Law Course in France

Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover just returned from Aix-en-Provence, France, after teaching a Collaborative Law course.  Cordover taught the course alongside Tampa psychologist Jeremy S. Gaies.  Cordover and Gaies are both lead trainers with Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers.

The course was hosted by the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Médiation et Négociation (“IHEMN”) as two-days within a broader 200-hour class.  Those who wish to become mediators in France must take this (or a similar) 200-hour class.  Twenty-six people attended the course, and among them were lawyers, entrepreneurs, police officers, and retired judges.

Curriculum of Collaborative Law Course

The title of the two-day course was “Collaborative Practice in the USA: An Intercultural Advanced Training.”  It included the following modules:

Read more

Typical Steps in a Collaborative Divorce

Divorce is tough.  Your marriage is falling apart and the foundation upon which you thought you could depend is no longer there.  Rather than fling yourself into the chaotic and adversarial divorce court system, you have alternatives.  One structured alternative is Collaborative Divorce.

In Collaborative Divorce, you and your spouse retain separate attorneys to guide you along the way.  Unlike litigation lawyers, these attorneys’ only purpose is to help you reach an agreement as amicably and efficiently as possible.  In fact, the process prohibits Collaborative Attorneys from engaging in contested court proceedings.  Because of this, you do not have to worry about motion practice, depositions, or dirty trial tactics.  You can just focus on reaching a resolution that is best for your future.

Here in Tampa Bay, a neutral Collaborative Facilitator usually aids you.  The Facilitator has a specialty in communications, family dynamics, and childhood development.  When you and your spouse seem to get stuck in the arguments of the past, the Facilitator will help get things back on track and focused on the future.  Further, if you have children, the Facilitator will help you craft a parenting plan tailored to your children’s specific needs.

To ensure transparency, you may retain a neutral Financial Professional.  The Financial Professional helps you and/or your spouse understand the extent of your estate.  He or she will then help you develop options for best dividing it.  He or she can also help you develop budgets so you know that you will have a financially sustainable future after divorce.

Every Collaborative Divorce is Different

Every Collaborative Divorce is different.  However, as a trainer, many of my students (who are lawyers, financial professionals, mental health professionals, mediators, and others) find it helpful to have a step-by-step guide to Collaborative Divorce.  This is meant only as a sample.  The more Collaborative Cases I am involved with, the more they deviate from this guide; in truth, just as there is no “typical” family, there is no “typical” Collaborative Divorce.

Read more

Collaborative Family Law: The 4 D’s of Resolution

Collaborative Divorce, also know as Collaborative Family Law, Collaborative Practice, and the Collaborative Process, is a structured form of dispute resolution where you and your spouse/partner can reach agreements privately and amicably.

J. David Harper, who is a forensic accountant and Collaborative Financial Neutral in Tampa Bay, refers to the structure of Collaborative Divorce as the “Four D’s.”  Harper writes in his article, Traits and Skills of a Highly Financial Neutral, published in Mosten & Cordover, eds., Building A Successful Collaborative Family Law Practice (ABA 2018), the following:

Read more

Introductory Collaborative Training

Has Your Divorce Lawyer Completed an Introductory Collaborative Training?

If you are in the market for a divorce lawyer, you should know that not all divorce lawyers are the same.  Some specialize in fighting in court, while others focus on resolving disputes outside of court.  One way to help determine which strategy your divorce lawyer focuses on is to find out whether he or she has completed an Introductory Collaborative Practice Training.

What is An Introductory Collaborative Practice Training?

An Introductory Collaborative Practice Training is one of the first steps a lawyer or other professional takes before offering collaborative divorce services.  Collaborative divorce is a process where the spouses agree that they will not use their attorneys to fight in court; rather the attorneys and any other professionals will focus solely on helping the family resolve their disputes and move on to their better future.

Read more

Does Your Lawyer Meet IACP Minimum Standards for Collaborative Practitioners?

If you are going through divorce, you may have heard of collaborative divorce as a non-adversarial method of separating.  What you may not know is that not all divorce lawyers have completed collaborative training.  Further, even among those who have completed a training, not all collaborative lawyers meet the IACP Minimum Standards for Collaborative Practitioners.

IACP Collaborative Law PracticeInternational Academy of Collaborative Professionals

The IACP is the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.  It is the premiere organization when it comes to helping families resolve disputes in a better way.  The mission of the IACP is “To transform the way families resolves conflict by building a global community of Collaborative Practice and consensual dispute resolution professionals.”

The IACP initially created Minimum Standards for Collaborative Practitioners in 2004; it revised and adopted the current Standards in 2014.  It states the following about the Standards:

The IACP Standards for Trainers, Trainings, and Practitioners are drafted with an awareness of the aggregate nature of learning. Knowledge comes from the interface between education and practical experience. Skill is acquired from the successive application of education to experience. With those principles in mind, these Standards should be understood as a point of departure in a continuing journey of education and practice for Collaborative practitioners and trainers.

Read more

Podcast: In-Depth Interview on Collaborative Divorce

Recently, author and collaborative attorney Adam B. Cordover appeared on the “Talking Brains” podcast for an in-depth interview on on collaborative divorce.

The podcast is hosted by Dr. Stephanie Sarkis, a therapist in Tampa specializing in ADHD, anxiety, and gaslighting.

In this wide-ranging interview, Stephanie and Adam discuss, among other things, the following:

  • The differences between the traditional court-based divorce and collaborative divorce;
  • The benefits of collaborative divorce for spouses;
  • The benefits of collaborative divorce for children;
  • The benefits of collaborative divorce for professionals;
  • The success rate of collaborative divorce;
  • What happens when spouses cannot reach an agreement;
  • Mosten, Forrest, & Cordover, Adam, Building A Successful Collaborative Family Law Practice (ABA 2018);
  • The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals;
  • The Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals;
  • Next Generation Divorce; and
  • Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers.

You can listen to the podcast below:

Read more

Preparing for Your Collaborative Divorce Team Meetings

You have wisely chosen to engage in the collaborative process rather than a more traditional, adversarial process. You—and your spouse—are to be congratulated for choosing a more peaceful path.

One of the cornerstones of the collaborative approach is the use of team meetings.  These are the working meetings that include you, your spouse, both attorneys, and any neutral professionals that you have engaged. These meetings are very different from traditional settlement conferences. This handout is designed to help you prepare for your collaborative team meetings.

Laying the Foundation

Collaborative practice is a structured process.  We follow a roadmap that has helped thousands of families to resolve their disputes.  It can be summed up as the “4 D’s of Resolution:”

  • Decide to Enter the Collaborative Process
  • Disclose All Relevant Information
  • Develop Options that Meet Interests
  • Determine the Best Options for Your Family

Many people decide to enter the collaborative process, but then want to skip right past disclosure and option development. They mistakenly believe that jumping immediately into proposal/counterproposal will save time and money.  However, in our experience, skipping the intermediate steps actually ends up costing more time and money because perspectives get entrenched, emotions spike, and the whole process gets derailed.  Further, either or both spouses may not yet know what is in the marital pot.  As a result, they may leave assets on the table or fail to address an asset or debt.  In either case, that may cause a dispute down the line.

Read more

Review: A Clear and Easy Guide to Collaborative Divorce

There are a lot of great books out there on collaborative divorce.  Some, like Forrest S. Mosten’s Collaborative Divorce Handbook: Helping Families without Going to Court and Pauline Tesler’s Collaborative Law: Achieving Effective Resolution in Divorce without Litigation, are geared towards divorce professionals.  Others, like Stu Webb and Ron Ousky’s The Collaborative Way to Divorce: The Revolutionary Method That Results in Less Stress, Lower Costs, and Happier Kids – Without Going to Court and Joryn Jenkin’s War or Peace: Avoid the Destruction of Divorce, are geared towards families considering divorce.

A new offering is helpful for both professionals and families.  Enter Dr. Jeremy S. Gaies’ A Clear and Easy Guide to Collaborative Divorce.

Dr. Gaies is a psychologist and collaborative facilitator/coach in Tampa, Florida.  Full disclosure: He also teaches attorneys, mental health professionals, financial professionals, and mediators how to offer families collaborative services through the Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers, a group in which I am also a trainer.

Read more

Why Don’t You Have More Collaborative Family Law Cases? Advanced Training Opportunity

We know that most divorcing spouses are better off using the collaborative process.  Still, you may not have as many collaborative cases as you want.  What challenges have you encountered when trying to enroll a collaborative family law case?

Does your heart pound when explaining the disqualification clause?  Are you worried about how to discuss costs?  Can you get your client to yes, but struggle to bring the other spouse on board?

The South Palm Beach Collaborative Practice Group invites attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals to an Advanced Collaborative Training on It All Starts In The Initial Client Meeting – Enrolling the Collaborative Case.  The training will be taught by Adam B. Cordover, Esq., Jeremy S. Gaies, Psy.D., Barbara E. Kelly, Ph.D., and J. David Harper, CPA of the Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers.  It takes place March 16, 2018, at the Boca Grove Golf & Tennis Club, 21351 Whitaker Dr., Boca Raton, Florida 33433.

Click Here for Registration Form

In this full day intensive advanced collaborative family law training, you will learn the keys to having a successful initial client meeting, including the following:

Read more

Collaborative Law Training Ft. Lauderdale – January 5-6, 2018

Give yourself and your clients a Christmas gift: Become trained in Collaborative Family Law!  Learn to address not only the legal needs of divorcing clients, but also the psychological and financial needs.  Find out what it is like to approach family law in a team-based manner, as opposed to an adversarial manner.

Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers

Adam B. Cordover, Jeremy Gaies, Kristin DiMeo, and Enid Miller Ponn Demonstrate a Collaborative Divorce Team Prep Meeting

Join the Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida, right outside of Ft. Lauderdale.

What2-DAY Interdisciplinary Introductory/Refresher Collaborative Training

Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida

Sponsor: Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida

Where: Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Ave., Davie, FL  – Maltz Psychology Building (around Ft. Lauderdale)

When:  January 5-6, 2018 (A third, locally staffed advanced training will take place on January 14, 2018)

Continuing Education: CEUs, CMES, and CLEs will be applied for

Registration Now Open!  Click Here!

Read more