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SAVE THE DATE – 2014 Collaborative Divorce Training in Tampa Bay

SAVE THE DATE: 3-Day Interdisciplinary Collaborative Family Law Training in Tampa Bay, Florida – March 20-22, 2014

Sponsored by the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay Collaborative Divorce Group

For attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals, the training meets the standards for membership in both local practice groups and the IACP standards for Basic & Advanced training.

Streamlined Protocols for Collaborative Divorce

Statistics demonstrate that as a result of the economic recession, families have lost almost 40% of their wealth.

Join the new generation of Collaborative Divorce Practitioners who will train and work together in the new streamlined protocols – preserving the Full Team while making Collaborative Divorce affordable.

More Details to Come…

Drafting an Enforceable Florida Prenuptial Agreement

You probably have heard stories of people who had prenuptial agreements, thought their assets were secure, and yet, at the time of the divorce, had those prenuptial agreements thrown out by a judge for being unfair, overreaching, or being executed without sufficient financial disclosure.

To address the concerns of those who are thinking of getting a prenup, I recently wrote an article for The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine in which I discussed an essential process to utilize if you want an enforceable agreement:

I am seeing more and more clients – especially those who have previously experienced marriage and divorce – come to my office to learn about prenuptial (also known as premarital) agreements. Though they certainly do not go into the marriage planning to divorce, they know the statistics and want a prenuptial agreement to protect them and ensure that they do not get trapped in endless litigation later on.

At the same time, I find fewer and fewer family law attorneys who are willing to draft prenuptial agreements. Lawyers fear that, for whatever reason, the agreement could later be found to be unenforceable. Void prenuptial agreements create, at best, client dissatisfaction with the drafter and, at worst, risk of a malpractice suit.

Nevertheless, the demand for prenuptial agreements is increasing. How does an attorney minimize the risk that the agreement will be invalidated? The answer is close to our hearts, given that the interdisciplinary collaborative family law process is tailor-made for drafting prenuptial agreements.

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New Collaborative Divorce Blog

I have created a collaborative divorce blog in which I intend to showcase articles and media from around the web on the practice of collaborative family law.  The name of the new blog is ABC Collaborative Divorce Blog and you can find it at the following link:  http://ABCDivorceCollaborative.wordpress.com.

If you have questions regarding how a Tampa Bay collaborative divorce process can help your family, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

Adam B. Cordover is Vice President of the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay and a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.  Adam served on the taskforce that drafted the Hillsborough County collaborative family practice administrative order signed by Chief Judge Manuel Menendez.

Video: 4 Principles of Collaborative Divorce

In the video below, attorney Lee Rosen discusses collaborative divorce, including four principles that make a family law matter collaborative:

Rosen points out that, pursuant to the collaborative participation agreement clients sign to begin the process, a collaborative divorce includes the following principles:

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Florida Grandparents’ Rights and Collaborative Divorce

Grandparents are, no doubt, an important part of the lives of Florida’s children.  The state government has on several occasions since 1978 enacted legislation to recognize Florida grandparent visitation and custody rights.  However, each statute which attempted to raise grandparents’ rights to the level of parents’ rights has been struck down by the Florida Supreme Court and appellate decisions as violating the fundamental rights of parents.

One effect of these court decisions is that a family law judge will not grant grandparents any visitation rights over the objection of a fit parent during divorce proceedings.

But what if there was a divorce process in which the importance of grandparents’ interaction with their grandchildren could be recognized?  There is, and the process is called collaborative divorce.

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A Tampa Collaborative Divorce Can Save You Money | via FamilyBlawg

I recently had an article published at FamilyBlawg.com:  A Tampa Collaborative Divorce Can Save You Money | FamilyBlawg.  Below is an excerpt:

Though the collaborative process may not be the cheapest in all cases, it has a substantial opportunity to save you money as compared to the courtroom battles we have all come to associate with divorce.

First, child issues, such as custody schedules and decision-making authority, are some of the most emotional and costliest issues in family law matters. Lawyers in courtroom cases tend to prepare interrogatories (questions) to be answered under penalty of perjury, set depositions, conduct opposition research to put the other spouse in the worst possible light, and prepare for trial. Attorneys’ invoices pile up along each stage of this process. Alternatively, these fees and costs can be greatly reduced in the collaborative process where facilitators, who usually are licensed mental health professionals, can cut through the clutter of emotionally-charged issues and bring the clients (and lawyers) to focus on the future and best interests of the children.

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Collaborative Divorce Video: A True Life Story Part 2

Just as more divorcing spouses in Tampa are seeking an alternative to the usual courtroom battles, the use of the collaborative family law process is growing around the country.  Collaborative Practice California has produced a video which follows an actual couple going through a collaborative divorce.

I previously posted Part 1 of the video.  After the jump, Part 2 of the video shows how the couple handles difficult emotional and financial issues in the collaborative process:

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Collaborative Divorce Video: A True Life Story Part 1

Like Tampa, California has seen a need for a divorce process that does not pit spouses against one another in courtroom battles.  To that end, Collaborative Practice California has produced the following video which follows an actual divorcing couple through the process of collaborative family law:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8qlrg7pe7E

Part 2 of the video to be posted within the coming days.

Like California, Tampa Bay has a group of attorneys, facilitators/coaches, accountants, and financial planners who are trained in the interdisciplinary collaborative process:

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Tampa Divorce: Adversarial versus Collaborative

If you are getting divorced in Tampa Bay, you have two main options:  Enter the adversarial system or utilize the collaborative process.  How is adversarial divorce different from collaborative divorce?

The term “adversarial” is defined by the Collins English Dictionary as “pertaining to or characterized by antagonism and conflict.”

Anyone who has gone through the traditional divorce litigation process can probably relate and understand why the Florida court system is known as an adversarial system.  A Husband and Wife are forced to face off as adversaries, with each often trying to prove the other a bad parent with poor morals and terrible financial habits, to boot.  They are treated as opposing parties with dueling experts and contrary interests.  Their personal lives are poked and prodded and laid bare in a public forum as they get judged by, well, a judge.  Mediation may be utilized, but litigation attorneys always maintain the threat to do battle in court.

Contrast this to collaborative divorce, a form of dispute resolution offered in Tampa Bay.  A Husband and Wife are treated not as adversaries, but as members of a team who, along with their collaborative attorneys and other professionals, are simply looking for options to settle differences.  A facilitator ensures that communication remains productive and that the spouses focus on their common interests, such as their children.  Often times, a neutral financial professional will help the spouses learn how to maximize the benefit of their assets while minimizing the impact of debt.

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Five Legal Steps Florida LGBT Parents Should Take

The unfortunate truth is that current Florida law is not conducive to recognizing the relationships that develop in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families.  However, there are steps that Florida and Tampa Bay LGBT parents can take to boost the recognition of their parental rights.

Adoption

If LGBT parents are committed to raising a child together and recognizing each parent’s rights, I highly recommend that partners consider adopting each other’s children.  This helps form an unbreakable legal bond between the children and each partner.  Though the law is not completely settled in this area, the judges in Hillsborough County (including Tampa) are granting adoptions by LGBT partners.  What’s more, an adoption attorney located in Hillsborough County (such as myself) can help Florida parents come before Hillsborough County judges no matter where in Florida the parents live.

Co-Parenting Agreements

Co-parenting agreements can be great evidence that LGBT partners intend to parent children together.  It can boost the argument that “psychological parenting,” or the formation of a parent-like relationship between a child and a non-legal parent, has occurred and make it or more likely that parental rights will be recognized by Florida’s legal system.

Hyphenated or Unified Last Names

A hyphenated or unified last name can go a long way in demonstrating to the Florida legal system that partners intended to raise children together.  For example, if partner 1 is named Jones, and partner 2 is named Smith, it would be helpful to have all partners and children’s last names hyphenated or unified, so that everyone has a last name of Jones-Smith, Smith-Jones, Smones, Jith, etc.  Florida has laws to aid in legal name changes.

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