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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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Tampa Court Publishes Requirements for Divorce

In an effort to make the process for divorce clearer to litigants in Hillsborough County, the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit has published the following Requirements for Dissolution of Marriage:

1.  PROOF OF RESIDENCY. 6 months prior to filing Petition. May be proved by drivers license, voter I.D., Affidavit of Corroborating Witness; or testimony of witness. Section 61.052(2), Fla. Stat.

2.  U.C.C.J.E.A. If any minor child or children born as a result of the marriage. Section 61.501 -61.542, Fla. Stat. (2002)

3.  FINANCIAL AFFIDAVITS for each spouse, Rule 12.285(d)(1), Family Law Rules. (This requirement may not be waived if there are financial issues.) Under $50K/Yr. – Over $50K/Yr.

4.  COMPLETED CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES WORKSHEET, if there are minor children. Family Law Rules Form 12.902(e).

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Video: The Smart Divorce

Divorce consultant Deborah Moskovitch discusses her high-conflict divorce and the lessons she learned in the following video from Family Matters:

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This is Why Florida is a “No Fault” Divorce State

Florida is a “No Fault” divorce state.  This means that parties do not have to accuse one another of doing harm to the marriage, such as by committing adultery or domestic violence, for a judge to grant a dissolution of marriage.  Rather, a party merely needs to allege that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

The usual test that a Tampa Bay judge gives to determine whether the marriage is irretrievably broken is to ask the question, “Would therapy or counseling help repair the marriage?”  If either party states that counseling would not help, a final decree of divorce will likely be granted.

As it turns out, England is not a “No Fault” divorce jurisdiction.  The New York Times reports that, since English parties must give reasons for seeking divorce, the court record is filled with highly personal, and sometimes downright wacky, divorce allegations.  Below are some of those allegations:

  • A husband insisted that his wife dress in a Klingon costume and speak to him in Klingon;
  • A wife maliciously and repeatedly served her husband the food he least liked: tuna casserole;
  • A wife spitefully tampered with her husband’s television antenna and, even worse, threw away his cold cuts; Read more

Tax Issues for Divorcing Spouses to Look Into

Mandi Woodruff at the Business Insider provides the following tips for divorcing spouses:

Procrastinating. If you’re newly divorced and haven’t filed taxes as you read this article, you might want to get a move on it. First of all, there’s no telling how willing your ex will be to fork over his or her tax records, which could throw a major roadblock in your way. And if you’re relying on a CPA or tax preparer to play mediator, chances are high they’ll be too swamped this late in the season to field your last-minute questions.

Setting yourself up for liability by filing jointly. Every couple has to decide whether to file as married (joint) or married (filing separately) after a divorce. There’s a big difference here, which is that filing jointly means you’re on the hook if your ex winds up in tax trouble. “You’re liable for everything on the tax return even if it’s related to your spouse,” Mindel says.

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Does Florida Have A Waiting Period For Divorce?

Oftentimes when potential clients come into my office for a consultation, I get asked the following question:  “Does Florida have a waiting period for divorce?”

In fact, Florida does have a waiting period.

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