Firm News and Notes

Cordover Pens Letter on Children of Same Sex Marriage to Tampa Bay Times

posted Jul 11, 2015, 7:56 AM by Adam Cordover

Hillsborough collaborative family law attorney Adam B. Cordover recently had a Letter to the Editor published in the Tampa Bay Times.  The letter addressed the unequal legal status of children of same-sex marriages.  You can find the text below:

Marriages still not equal

With the recent Supreme Court decision declaring that same-sex couples have as much right to marry as opposite-sex couples, we may be on the precipice of a renaissance of civil rights and equality not experienced since the 1960s. And just as we no longer classify marriages as being either interracial or segregated, we may soon be in an age when we do not classify marriages as either same-sex or opposite-sex.

But in this state, we are not quite there. And this has profound consequences for Florida's children.

There is a strong presumption in Florida family law that a child born during an intact marriage to a husband and wife is presumed to be a child of the marriage, regardless of whether both parties are actually the biological parents. In fact, according to a long line of cases, this presumption of a child's legitimacy is one of the strongest presumptions known to law and is based on protecting the sanctity of the family and the welfare of the child.

The presumption means that both opposite-sex parents will be placed on the child's birth certificate, and both will be considered the child's guardians. Both parents will be able to make decisions concerning the child's education, health care and general welfare, and the child would have the right to inherit from both parents in the event either dies without a will.

And yet, a child born within a same-sex marriage may not be afforded these same protections. As of today, Florida's Office of Vital Statistics, the government agency charged with issuing birth certificates, refuses to recognize both parents of children of same-sex marriages without a court order. This puts an emotional and financial strain on same-sex spouses not required of opposite-sex spouses to hire attorneys, pay a court filing fee and plead their case in front of a judge simply to be recognized as parents of their children.

For there to be true marriage equality, the children of all marriages must be treated equally. Vital Statistics should list both parents of a child born within an intact marriage — whether opposite-sex or same-sex — on a child's birth certificate.

Adam B. Cordover, Tampa

To learn more about Florida LGBT family law rights, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

We Now Offer Divorce Mediation

posted Jun 14, 2015, 1:13 PM by Adam Cordover   [ updated Jun 14, 2015, 1:15 PM ]

The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover is proud to offer divorce and family law mediation for families throughout the greater Tampa Bay Area.  Attorney Adam B. Cordover has successfully completed a 40-hour mediation program sponsored by the Conflict Resolution Collaborative center of the University of South Florida.  

Adam B. Cordover is a strong believer that families should settle their disputes privately and without a judge-imposed solution.  This new mediation practice strongly compliments this firm's collaborative practice, where Adam has helped many families respectfully resolve disputes.

Click here to learn more about divorce and family law mediation.

Cordover Successful in Shaw Same Sex Divorce Appeal

posted May 30, 2015, 2:47 PM by Adam Cordover   [ updated May 30, 2015, 2:55 PM ]

In early 2014, Tampa Bay Attorney Adam B. Cordover was retained by a woman going through divorce from her wife, whom she had legally married in Massachusetts.  Both parties agreed to proceed through the private, respectful collaborative process with the help of a Neutral Facilitator and Neutral Financial Professional.  They were able to reach a full marital settlement agreement in just eight days (side note - this is a quicker resolution than in the typical collaborative divorce).

However, when they petitioned the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit of Hillsborough County to accept their collaborative marital settlement agreement and dissolve their marriage, their request was denied and their case dismissed.  The reasoning was simple:  Under Florida's Defense of Marriage Act and Constitutional Amendment, Florida did not recognize a marriage between two women, even for the purpose of dissolving that marriage.

The women appealed, and Cordover remained on the case as an appellate attorney.  Florida's Attorney General, Pamela Bondi, intervened as a party to oppose the divorce.  The cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Miami Beach, Wilton Manors, Village of Biscayne Park, and Broward County filed a brief supporting the women's right to divorce.  Tallahassee and Miami-Dade County later requested to join in support of the right to divorce.  The American Civil Liberties Union and Florida Bar Family Law Section also filed a brief in support.

The Second District Court of Appeals asked the Florida Supreme Court to immediately take the case, as it was of such public importance and, the court determined that any delay would have a negative effect on the proper administration of justice.  However, the Florida Supreme Court ultimately denied the request, and said that the Second District must hear the issues.

In April 2015, the Second District heard oral arguments.  On May 29, 2015, the court announced that the women's marriage should be recognized under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution, and the trial court should grant the divorce.

Certainly, many people helped to make this happen.  Debbie Thomson and Lara Davis were co-appellate counsel.  Ellen Ware was collaborative attorney for the other party, and she, Brett Rahall, and Bridget Remington were appellate attorneys for the other party.  Linda Peterman, LMHC, served as the collaborative facilitator, while John Sullivan, CFP, CDFA, served as the collaborative neutral financial professional.

The Tampa Tribune interviewed Cordover on this victory:  "This is a good day for equality...Many people focus on marriage equality, but divorce equality is just as important.  Now my client can move on with her life."

If you have questions about LGBT family law in Florida or the Collaborative Divorce Process, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

Cordover Leads Townhall Discussion at Florida Collaborative Conference

posted May 17, 2015, 9:08 AM by Adam Cordover   [ updated May 17, 2015, 9:09 AM ]

On May 16, 2015, Tampa collaborative attorney Adam B. Cordover led a townhall-style discussion and debate at the Third Annual Conference of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida.  

The discussion was part of a workshop co-developed and co-moderated by Enid Miller Ponn, a South Florida collaborative attorney and Director of the Center for Collaborative Divorce and Mediation, along with Barbara Kelly, an Orlando psychologist and Executive Board Officer of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.  The workshop was titled "The Collaborative Multiverse: Is there Really only ONE set of rules?"

The workshop was attended by collaborative divorce leaders and professionals from throughout the state, and spurred on lively debates about customs and best practices for helping clients through divorce via non-adversarial methods.

If you want to learn more about collaborative divorce, 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 a frequent speaker on the topic of how interdisciplinary collaborative practice can help families, and he has been interviewed about collaborative divorce by NBC 8, Fox 13, ABC Action News, Bay News 9, the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Tampa Tribune, and the World of Collaborative Practice Magazine.

Law Firm Proud To Sponsor Divorce Without Destruction Podcast

posted May 11, 2015, 10:10 AM by Adam Cordover   [ updated May 11, 2015, 10:10 AM ]

Back HomeThe Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Divorce Without Destruction Podcast.  Divorce Without Destruction is hosted by Garin Vick, a licensed psychologist as well as a Collaborative Facilitator, Parenting Coordinator, and Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator.

Dr. Vick started the Divorce Without Destruction Podcast to focus on the Collaborative Divorce process and provide information and resources before, during, and after divorce.  Dr. Vick has interviewed interesting and passionate professionals working within the field of collaborative divorce and shares their stories with his listeners.  

Dr. Vick's goal is to leave his listeners with valuable information and resources to co-parent in healthy ways. 

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

Attorney Cordover Runs in Tampa Gator Club 5K

posted Apr 26, 2015, 12:44 PM by Adam Cordover   [ updated Apr 26, 2015, 12:44 PM ]

gator5kOn April 25, 2015, collaborative family law attorney Adam B. Cordover ran in the Gator 5K, an event organized by the Tampa Gator Club to raise funds for scholarships to local students who attend or will attend the University of Florida.  

The Tampa Gator Club is a non-profit, affiliated organization of the University of Florida Alumni Association and exists to support the mission of teaching, research, and service, for both the Alumni Association and the University of Florida.  There are nearly 100 Gator Clubs around the world and the Tampa Gator Club is the second largest in the nation.  On an annual basis, the Tampa Gator Club awards over $10,000 in scholarships to University of Florida freshman from the Tampa Bay area and through the UFAA.

Cordover graduated from the University of Florida in 2003 with a Bachelors in Political Science and Jewish Studies and a Certificate in International Affairs.  He served as a student leader in the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, Jewish Student Union, College of Liberal Arts and Science Student Council, and Student Government Cabinet for Student Advocacy.

To learn how collaborative law can help your family, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., call us at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

Cordover Presents on Collaborative Divorce and Blogging

posted Mar 22, 2015, 7:22 AM by Adam Cordover   [ updated Mar 22, 2015, 7:22 AM ]

Tampa Bay Attorney Adam B. Cordover was a featured speaker during a two-day advanced collaborative training led by Woody Mosten, a nationally renowned mediator and family law attorney based out of Beverly Hills, California.  The theme of the training was "Building A Satisfying And Profitable Collaborative and Mediation Practice."  Adam led a workshop on "Deepening Knowledge and Communicating About Collaborative Divorce via Blogging."  The main sponsor of the event was Next Generation Divorce, Florida's largest collaborative practice group.

Over 60 professionals attended the advanced training, including attorneys, accountants, financial planners, psychologists, therapists, educators, and real estate agents.  The whole point was to build sustainable companies and firms that would help families restructure in a healthy manner rather than be torn apart via the traditional courtroom divorce process.

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

Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, Co-Chair of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida Research Committee, and a graduate of the Inaugural Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Cordover Quoted in Tampa Tribune Same Sex Divorce Article

posted Feb 20, 2015, 11:55 AM by Adam Cordover   [ updated Feb 20, 2015, 11:57 AM ]

IA908834_large.jpgCollaborative Family Law Attorney Adam B. Cordover was quoted in an article last month in the Tampa Tribune titled "Gay marriage legal in Florida, but gay divorce still cloudy."  Below are some excerpts from the article:

A Tampa couple wed in Massachusetts have been fighting for the right to divorce; state courts have not yet definitively ruled whether to recognize same-sex couples statewide.

“It would not make sense for the clerks to issue marriage licenses that the courts do not recognize,” said attorney Adam Cordover, who represents Keiba Lynn Shaw in her bid to divorce Mariama Changamire Shaw. “It just absolutely would not make sense to do that. But ultimately, the state courts may want to make up their own mind on the merits.”

The anticipated same-sex marriage licenses are the result of a federal judge’s ruling in Tallahassee that the state’s constitutional and legislative bans violate the federal constitution. A stay of that federal ruling will expire on Tuesday, opening the gates to same-sex marriages in Florida.

In the meantime, the Shaws’ divorce case is pending before the 2nd District Court of Appeal. The couple are seeking to overturn a decision in May by Hillsborough Circuit Judge Laurel M. Lee that she could not dissolve a marriage that legally does not exist in the state of Florida.

Lawyers said they’re waiting for the appellate court to schedule oral arguments in the Shaw divorce case.

But last week, another state appellate court, the 3rd District Court of Appeal in South Florida, issued a ruling denying a same-sex divorce. In that case, the couple married in Iowa in 2009 and later moved to Florida. The women, Sarah Oliver and Heather Ann Stufflebeam, filed for divorce in Miami-Dade, but were denied.

“The state could conceivably take the position that there will be these marriage licenses - we’re just not going to recognize them,” Cordover said.

“Simply stated,” the appellate court wrote, “one cannot dissolve a marriage where there is not a marriage to dissolve.” Granting a divorce, the court said, “concedes that a valid marriage in fact exists.”

That ruling came exactly a week after a Broward Circuit judge granted another same-sex couple a divorce.

Unlike the Miami-Dade couple, the Shaws in Tampa are challenging the constitutionality of the state bans.

Brett Rahall, who is representing Mariama Shaw, said they also included the same argument about the law not applying to divorces but felt that claim was their weakest point.

The 3rd DCA ruling is “kind of messed up, Rahall said. And it’s made the legal status “even more muddy.”

“The state could conceivably take the position that there will be these marriage licenses - we’re just not going to recognize them,” Cordover said.

***
The Shaws worked out their differences through a process known as collaborative divorce. They are seeking only a legal ruling that their marriage has ended.

Since this article was written, divorces of same-sex couples have been successfully completed in Hillsborough County and around the state, though there is not uniformity in that outcome.

If you have questions regarding Florida LGBT family law rights and you want to speak with an attorney experienced in the field, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

Cordover Guest Speaker at Boca Raton Collaborative Meeting

posted Feb 17, 2015, 2:11 PM by Adam Cordover   [ updated Feb 20, 2015, 11:56 AM ]

Choose CollaborativeTampa attorney Adam B. Cordover was recently a guest speaker at the South Palm Beach County Collaborative Law Group.  Adam spoke on the topic of What You And Your Practice Group Can Do To Help More Clients Via the Collaborative Divorce Process.

As president of Next Generation Divorce, Florida's largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group, Adam is a leader in the promotion of collaborative divorce, a private and respectful method to resolve marital issues.  Adam also serves as Research Chair of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida, and he is a graduate of the Inaugural Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

The South Palm Beach County Collaborative Law Group is an association of Attorneys, Financial Professionals, Mental Health Professionals and Mediators who work together to highlight the benefits of the Collaborative Process.
Its goal is to assist South Florida couples to work toward a mutually fair and equitable end to their relationship without the acrimony, anxiety and financial cost that often accompanies litigation, and to protect the integrity and health of family relationships.

Tampa Collaborative Divorce Firm Sponsors WUSF / NPR

posted Feb 9, 2015, 8:21 AM by Adam Cordover   [ updated Feb 9, 2015, 8:21 AM ]

You may have recently heard the following announcement on WUSF/NPR:   "Sponsored by The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, offering Collaborative Divorce, a private, child-focused family law process . . .  without litigation.  Information is available at  813-443-0615 or ABCFamilyLaw.com."

The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., is proud to announce its sponsorship of WUSF 89.7, Tampa Bay's public media and NPR station.  WUSF 89.7 broadcasts local, statewide and national news, and all night jazz.  Locally produced programs like Florida Matters provide listeners local content on local issues.  As West Central Florida's NPR station, WUSF carries flagship programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered, that bring you national news at its best.  WUSF serves members and listeners from Crystal River in the North, to Port Charlotte in the South, and Osceola County to the East.

1-10 of 70