Traditionally, divorce has been an adversarial process, with lawyers making arguments in front of a judge about what his or her client should get. And yet, you are probably not looking to get in a prolonged battle with your spouse; rather, you are likely looking to move on with your life and ensure your kids do not get caught in the middle. This is why I specialize in Collaborative Divorce, which unbundles divorce negotiations from the adversarial court process. In effect, I am a resolution specialist.
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:
Is divorce on your horizon? If so, are you fearing entering a public adversarial system where husband is pitted against wife, and mother is pitted against father? Fortunately, there are alternatives. One alternative is the collaborative divorce process, where you and your spouse sign a participation agreement that states, among other things, that your attorneys can only be used to help you reach an agreement outside of court. This means that none of you or your attorneys’ time, energy, or billable time goes towards opposition research, motion practice, or costly trial preparation.
The collaborative participation agreement spells out the rules of the collaborative process. Below you will find a sample participation agreement that I oftentimes use in my cases here in Florida. Please note that different professionals and different communities use different participation agreements. Further, the same professional may have different participation agreements depending on the type of matter or the complexity of the matter.
As I have had the fortune to model my participation agreement based on the work of others, I welcome other professionals to modify and adapt the collaborative participation agreement below as their own:
Running a small business is tough enough. Running a small business while your marriage is falling apart can be crushing. But you don’t need to go through a traditional court battle if divorce is on the horizon. Your business does not need to be a casualty. There is an alternative. There is collaborative divorce.
Small Business & Privacy
Collaborative divorce is a form of out-of-court dispute resolution that values privacy. This means that your client lists, inventory details, and other trade secrets remain safely away from public court records. In fact, here in Florida, the Collaborative Law Process Act and accompanying rules safeguard most communications had within a collaborative divorce. Courts now have authority to sanction a party who reveals a collaborative law communication.
On May 18, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court published an opinion approving collaborative law rules. The collaborative law rules are the last step necessary before Florida’s Collaborative Law Process Act goes into effect.
The opinion approves Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 4-1.19 and Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.745.
Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 4-1.19
Florida Bar Rule 4-1.19 is a rule of professional conduct. It creates certain obligations of attorneys representing clients within the collaborative process. Among other things, the rule requires collaborative lawyers to do the following when contemplating collaborative practice with a client:
- Provide sufficient information about the benefits and risks of the collaborative process;
- Explain alternatives to the collaborative process, including litigation and mediation;
It has long been the law in Florida that when a child is born during an intact marriage between a man and a woman, the husband shall be placed on the birth certificate. Generally, this is the case even if the husband is not the biological father of the child; the right of the child to be considered “legitimate” is so strong that it does not matter whether there is an actual genetic connection between the child and the father.
Now that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage has been declared unconstitutional by a federal judge and marriage licenses are being provided to same-sex couples, will a hospital put a woman on a birth certificate if her wife gives birth?
Anyone who has gone through a divorce, paternity, or other family law proceeding in Hillsborough County or elsewhere in Florida may have wondered: What is the purpose of Florida Family Law?
Well, section 61.001(2) purports to have an answer:
Can two women who were married in Massachusetts but now are residents of Florida divorce in Florida? That is the question that my Tampa client and her wife were looking to have answered in the affirmative. The trial judge determined that she did not have the power to dissolve a marriage that the State of Florida did not recognize.
When we appealed, we asked a panel of judges to skip the normal appellate process and go straight to the Florida Supreme Court. Our argument was that this case involves issues of such public importance, and that determining whether married couples of the same sex can divorce affects the administration of justice throughout the state. Our request for the expedited process was denied.
And then we got word yesterday. The judges of the Second District Court of Appeals decided en banc (with the input of all of the judges of the Court, excluding a judge who had recused himself) that this case should go straight to the Florida Supreme Court.
Below are portions of the brand new ruling:
If you have wondered how old you need to be to get hitched in Florida, section 741.0405 of the Florida Statutes has that answer:
741.0405 When marriage license may be issued to persons under 18 years.—
(1) If either of the parties shall be under the age of 18 years but at least 16 years of age, the county court judge or clerk of the circuit court shall issue a license for the marriage of such party only if there is first presented and filed with him or her the written consent of the parents or guardian of such minor to such marriage, acknowledged before some officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments and administer oaths. However, the license shall be issued without parental consent when both parents of such minor are deceased at the time of making application or when such minor has been married previously.
Florida Statutes Section 61.021 imposes a residency requirement for divorce cases: One of the parties must have lived in Florida for at least 6 months prior to the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage. This generally means that a spouse will have to be physically present in Florida fort six months and have the intent to remain a permanent resident of Florida.
However, Florida does provide exceptions for members of the military.
- Virtual Introductory Collaborative Law Training August 2021 July 13, 2021
- Collaborative Divorce: An Unbundled Legal Service June 22, 2021
- Family Diplomacy Opens Sarasota Office June 8, 2021
- Bradenton Adult Adoption Featured on Ellen DeGeneres Show May 25, 2021
- Video: How Does Collaborative Divorce Work? March 30, 2021