Video: Social Worker Gary Direnfeld Discusses Collaborative Law

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker based in Dundas, Ontario, where the courts consider him an expert in social work, marital therapy, child development, and custody and access matters.  And Gary has a message for spouses considering divorce: stay out of the courts.

I got to know Gary this summer at a training in Chicago where we were learning to teach divorce lawyers and practitioners how to become peacemakers.  He is passionate about his work to help families in difficult circumstances.  In the short video below, Gary discusses an alternative to divorce court battles that he recommends: collaborative law.

Here are some excerpts from the video:

At some point during the divorce and separation process, couples find themselves needing a lawyer…The concern is, depending on the lawyers you see, the lawyers can actually contribute to the conflict between the parties.  In worse case scenarios, this means going to court.


In collaborative family law, the lawyers actually promise you that they will not go to court…The benefit is that you now have lawyers who are determined to help reach an agreement out of court.  So their mind is directed towards settlement and reducing conflict between the parties.  

There is no benefit to them to an increase in conflict.  In fact, to these kinds of lawyers, there is a benefit in helping you to manage your case, manage your situation as expeditiously as possible.  This is because they are going to then trade on their good reputation, their reputation for settling files, not for their reputation for beating up others in court. 


So, you’re considering separation and divorce.  Sorry that matters have turned this way, but now you have to consider finding a lawyer.  Consider those lawyers who are trained in and practice collaborative family law.  Their interest is to find a resolution that supports your entire family.


I’m Gary Direnfeld.  By the way, I’m a social worker, and here I am singing the praises of these lawyers.

If you have questions about how your family can use collaborative law here in Tampa Bay or Greater Sarasota, schedule a consultation with Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm at (813) 443-0615 or CLICK HERE to fill out our contact form.

Adam B. Cordover is an experienced collaborative attorney and co-author of an upcoming American Bar Association book on Building A Successful Collaborative Law Practice.  He is a principal trainer and founder of Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers, and past president of Next Generation Divorce, growing it to become Florida’s largest collaborative practice group.

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