Attorney Adam B. Cordover recently was invited to speak with Stephen Ministers at the First United Methodist Church of Saint Petersburg, Florida. Adam, along with psychologist Deborah Downs-Spencer and Financial Adviser John L. Sullivan, presented on how the collaborative family law process
can be used to keep divorcing spouses focused on their children and keep in mind the needs of the community.
According to the Stephen Ministry website
, "Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system. Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting."
If you have questions about how collaborative practice can help your family transition in a respectful and values-based manner, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.
Tampa Collaborative Lawyer Adam B. Cordover attended the 14th Annual Forum of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals ("IACP") in San Antonio, Texas, as well as the Inaugural IACP Leadership Academy.
Adam was nominated by the local collaborative practice group, the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay, and selected by the IACP to attend the Leadership Academy. As stated on the IACP's website, "The purpose of the IACP Leadership Academy is to develop the leadership skills of participants in order to assist them in making the most effective contributions to the growth and development of the Collaborative movement, both locally and internationally." The Leadership Academy included 23 participants from throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia.
The Leadership Academy was held just before the Forum, which was a gathering of approximately 400 collaborative attorneys, accountants, financial planners, therapists, psychologists, and other professionals from North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. The Forum was an opportunity for collaborative professionals worldwide to create better practice models, exchange ideas, and develop tools to help our clients resolve disputes privately and constructively.
Adam had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Stu Webb, the founder of collaborative family law, and many other professionals throughout the world.
To learn how collaborative family law
can save you from bitter, costly, and destructive courtroom divorce battles, schedule a consultation by calling The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or by filling out our contact form
Are You Safe, Inc.
, an organization that provides crucial services to survivors of domestic violence, recognized Adam B. Cordover as Volunteer Lawyer of the Year. Adam was presented this award on September 26th, 2013, at Are You Safe's Fifth Annual Purple Party, an event that promotes domestic violence awareness.
To learn more about Are You Safe and the services it provides and to learn how you can donate, visit r-u-safe.org
Attorney Adam B. Cordover participated in a case that turned out to be the first pro bono collaborative divorce
ever completed in the State of Florida. Cordover represented the Husband, Tyler Nelson. Attorney Joryn Jenkins represented the Wife, Pamela Burton. Jennifer Mockler, Ph.D., served as the Neutral Collaborative Facilitator, and Monica Ospina, C.P.A., took on the role of the Neutral Financial Professional. Attorney George Melendez shadowed the case.
Below are links to media coverage of the collaborative divorce:
Tampa Attorney Adam B. Cordover was recently interviewed by the Tampa Tribune regarding the first pro bono
collaborative divorce to be completed in Florida. Below are portions of the article, titled "Kinder, gentler divorces take the bite out of break-ups
," which appeared in the September 15th edition of the Tribune:
"He got the furniture. She got the car.
They split custody of their daughter and everybody’s happy.
The divorce of Tyler Nelson and Pamela Burton will be finalized on Friday, but they didn’t have to go through years of litigation or deal with months of acrimony to legally end their marriage.
The couple decided to have a collaborative divorce, an option designed to be smoother and less contentious than divorces that play out in a courtroom.
“It was a great thing,” said Nelson, 30. “We didn’t disagree on anything. There was nothing to fight about.”
Collaborative divorces were once available mostly to the wealthy, who were attracted to the option because of the privacy. Details are kept out of the public record because grievances aren’t aired out in court.
But the form of mediation is growing in popularity across the nation, according to the American Bar Association’s Family Law Section, and is becoming more affordable to middle-class families.
In the case of Nelson and Burton, the process was free — theirs is the first pro bono collaborative divorce in Florida.
“We wanted to provide this service to people who otherwise couldn’t afford an attorney,” said Nelson’s lawyer, Adam Cordover. “We are doing this pro bono to also spread the word about collaborative divorces.”
Here’s how the process, officially known as collaborative dispute resolution, works.
Nelson and Burton each retained their own attorneys. The two lawyers then chose a financial expert and a mental health professional while the couple agreed not to go to court.
Instead, all six people had a series of meetings where the lawyers acted more like problem solvers, the financial expert gathered information and offered advice, and the mental health counselor was like a referee, ensuring the meetings didn’t get combative.
Typically the only time a judge sees the couple is at the end, after both parties agree to terms. The judge signs the final order for divorce.
In legal terms, all marriages are civil unions and only the court can rule if a marriage is irretrievably broken, said Circuit Court Judge Catherine Catlin. That’s why all cases where marriages are dissolved — even collaborative divorces — have to come before a judge.
Catlin, a family law judge, said she’s a big fan of collaborative divorces.
“I’m in favor of anything that helps families resolve issues outside of an adversarial setting,” she said. “I like the concept of giving control back to the parties. They’re given the time and the forum to work things out.”
Burton’s lawyer said collaborative divorces can actually help a couple heal and move on with their lives.
“When you go to court, it’s a destructive process,” said Tampa-based attorney Joryn Jenkins. “Most divorces start with one party racing to the courthouse with their petition, trying to beat the other person. From the get-go, it’s war. But the collaborative process is a model that shows the couple how to get along and be reasonable.”
It’s also often less expensive than traditional divorces that go to court.
“You spend less in collaborative divorces because you’re not preparing for a series of hearings,” Cordover said. “You’re not tied to the court docket.”
Jenkins said collaborative divorces cost between $20,000 to $30,000. Normal divorces tend to range from $50,000 to $100,000.
Nelson said he’s happy Cordover took on his case for free and found the process to be mostly painless. Burton declined to comment.
Nelson said they took the collaborative divorce route because of their 7-year-old daughter, Emma. Dividing up the assets from their eight-year marriage, he said, was less important than being able to spend time with his daughter.
During the meetings, which lasted two months, both parties quickly agreed who would take over specific bills and how much alimony payments would be.
“Everything else was the material stuff,” Nelson said. “She took what she wanted to take, I took what I wanted to take. I kept the furniture. She got the car. I get my daughter every other week.”
Nelson said he and Burton were friends in high school but didn’t start dating until a few years after they graduated. In the beginning, the young couple seemed to agree on everything.
“We were into each other,” Nelson said. “Everything was going pretty good. We were on the same page. It just seemed right.”
Soon after they were married, the bickering began. It usually centered around “everyday things,” Nelson said, like money or bills.
“I thought she was the one,” he said. “Turned out I was wrong.”
Burton’s divorce case drew Jenkins’ attention. Jenkins and Cordover then agreed to take on the divorce proceedings pro bono to raise awareness of collaborative law."
Both parties had agreed prior to interviews that they would like others to know about their case so as to spread the word on collaborative divorce.
Collaborative Family Law Attorney Adam B. Cordover is the latest recipient of Avvo's 2013 Clients' Choice Award. The Clients' Choice Award is reserved for those attorneys who have received a 4 or 5 star rating (out of 5) from at least five current or former clients on the attorney information and review site in 2013, Avvo.com.
Adam's Avvo profile received five 5-star ratings in 2013, and eight 5-star ratings overall. None of Adam's ratings have consisted of less than 5 stars.
On August 8, 2013, Tampa Bay family law attorney Adam B. Cordover provided training to the staff of the Bay Area Volunteer Lawyers Program on offering interdisciplinary collaborative divorce to families in need on a pro bono
is a private dispute resolution process where the clients agree that (i) they will settle issues without engaging in courtroom battles, (ii) their attorneys are retained only to help the clients come to an agreement and are contractually barred from taking contested issues to court, (iii) they will focus on what is important (i.e., their children) and interact respectfully, and (iv) they will be open and honest with one another. A neutral facilitator, who is usually a psychologist, licensed mental health counselor, or social worker, helps the parties communicate and move towards agreement. A neutral financial professional, generally an accountant or financial planner, helps the parties divide assets and liabilities, budget for the future, and, in some cases, maximize tax credits.
Bay Area Volunteer Lawyers Program currently has a joint program with the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough County Bar Association Collaborative Law Section which connects families eligible for pro bono services with collaboratively-trained volunteers.
To find out whether you are eligible for pro bono collaborative family law services (generally if you have income equal to or less than 125% of the U.S. Poverty Guidelines), you may contact Bay Area Legal Services Monday through Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at (813) 232-1343 (in Hillsborough County) or (800) 625-2257 (in Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties).
Attorney Adam B. Cordover has been nominated by the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay
and selected by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
("IACP") to attend the IACP Leadership Academy. Adam is only one of two professionals from Tampa Bay selected to attend the Leadership Academy, and, according to the IACP, there were many more applicants than there were seats available.
The following from the IACP website describes the Leadership Academy:
The purpose of the IACP Leadership Academy is to develop the leadership skills of participants in order to assist them in making the most effective contributions to the growth and development of the Collaborative movement, both locally and internationally.
Our goals are to nurture effective leadership which will support thriving Practice Groups, to build relationships among leaders within the Collaborative community and to ensure the enduring vitality of the Collaborative movement.
The Academy is a year long course of study focusing on cultivating leadership excellence through skill building, dialogue and mentoring. It begins with a two-day retreat being held in conjunction with the 2013 Forum in San Antonio, Texas on Oct. 17. A second two-day in-person retreat will be held in the spring at a location to be determined. The Academy will conclude with its final program of this inaugural year at the 2014 Forum in Vancouver, Canada. Monthly phone bridge and webcast sessions will begin in December, 2013. The course will address topics such as leadership styles, organizational development and skills, organizational culture and conflict resolution, leading volunteers and principles of governance.
To learn more about how collaborative practice
can help your family resolve divorce and other disputes in a private, respectful manner, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form
The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., has created a new blog, ABC Collaborative Divorce Blog
, that showcases articles on collaborative divorce and family law from all around the web.
From Florida to California, Israel to Australia, collaborative family law is gaining steam as a private dispute resolution process to solve divorce, paternity, grandparents' rights, prenuptial, and other family law issues in a healthier manner. This blog will examine the latest ideas in collaborative family law and highlight how it is practiced throughout the world.
Adam B. Cordover currently serves as Vice President of the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., is proud to announce two new additions to our legal family: Judith Olinger and Jake Biller. Judith Olinger, our new office manager, hails originally from Brooklyn, New York, worked for approximately 20 years as head of the accounting department at AAA International Couriers in Miami, Florida, spent several years as an office manager at Intellenet, Inc., in Asheville, North Carolina. Now she is back in Florida, and we are lucky to have her and her wealth of experience. Jake Biller, a Tampa native, is serving as our summer file clerk. He has previous experience volunteering at St. Joseph's Hospital as well as the Jewish Community Center. He's also darn good guitar player and cross country athlete.