Why Choose Collaborative Family Law?

Why should you choose collaborative family law for a Florida divorce?

In some instances, the number of reasons to divorce a particular person might outnumber the reasons to marry such person in the first place. However, there will always be plenty of reasons to choose the collaborative divorce process over the litigation method. I read an appellate opinion issued about one month ago by the First DCA that highlights the value of the collaborative process.  In that appellate case, the trial court ordered one party to pay a prior balance owed for alimony to the other party, but both parties disagreed as to the calculation used by the trial court.  The disputed amount of $6,064 was likely less money than the amount each side paid to appeal a decision that they both disagreed with.  It is quite possible that had the parties proceeded through the collaborative divorce process, not only could they have saved themselves from having their differences appear on the internet, but by sharing a single accountant, the arrearage may not have been subject to dispute.

I have sometimes heard the remark that the more lawyers there are in a case, the longer the trial will take.  If there is some truth to that, then it is no secret that when parties duplicate their resources on either side of the aisle, the potential for disagreement will likewise increase.  Part of the collaborative process is to remove the scoreboard so that nobody has an incentive to obtain points to the detriment of the other.  Where parties want to get the amounts correct rather than trying to “win,” there may be much savings of time, effort and stress by using a process that facilitates agreement by consolidation (collaborative) rather than a decision by contest (litigation).

Stephen Pitre is a collaborative family law attorney in Pensacola, Florida.


WFCL Upcoming Meeting: January 20, 2017

In response to the enactment of the Collaborative Law Process Act as a method to encourage peaceful resolution of various family law matters, a formation committee is conducting a meeting on January 20, 2017 at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon at noon.

The purpose of the meeting is to accept applications from attorneys in good standing with the Florida Bar, mental health professionals, and public accountants and CPAs to join the West Florida Collaborative Law Group, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation serving as a practice group to facilitate collaborative law as it relates to certain family law matters.

Membership requirements including training specifications will be detailed at the meeting.

Any questions in the meantime can be referred to the formation committee members identified below:

Joshua Jones (jjones@joshuajoneslaw.com)

John Susko (john@lynchard-greene.com)

Mary McDaniel (mgm@mcdaniellawpa.com)

Lisa York (lisayork@lisayorklaw.com)

Amy Waddell (amy@ourfamilyattorney.com)

Galen Novotny (gnovotny@esclaw.com)

Stephen A. Pitre (spitre@clarkpartington.com)

Collaborative Family Law Arrives in Northwest Florida

Collaborative family law has finally arrived in the Pensacola, Florida region! Though the concept evolved almost thirty years ago, Florida has only seen a growth of this relatively new practice technique over the last decade. With the creation of West Florida Collaboartive Law, Inc. and a commitment among local professionals, the addition of collaborative family law model in the area brings Florida full circle. Now, Florida residents in all corners of the state have access to collaborative family law professionals.

In the coming months, Escambia and Santa Rosa County attorneys, financial experts, and mental health counselors, will continue offering educational experiences to colleagues and the public, so that our entire community will be knowledgeable about this new option for resolving collaborative family law disputes. To aid in that educational outreach effort, West Florida Collaborative Law, Inc. is glad to provide speakers for local civic, social, professional, and school groups. Please contact us to schedule a speaker.

Keep checking back with us for new content on this website, including blog entries (written entirely by our local professionals), news, and our members’ profiles.

pensacola collaborative family law
Joshua Aaron Jones is a collaborative family law attorney in Pensacola, Florida.