Collaborative Law Institute of Texas > First Pro Bono Collaborative Divorce in Florida Brings New Awareness

Posted on September 25, 2013

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From the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas:

This remarkable story in the Tampa Tribune from last week involves a Florida couple who has a story that’s regrettably familiar. Though their marriage started off well, they found themselves fighting and growing apart, and determined that they need to get divorced.

But rather than do what many Florida divorcing couples do, and go through the litigation process to fight out their issues in a courtroom, they caught the attention of two lawyers who were willing to help them settle their divorce collaboratively — and offered to do it pro bono, in order to help raise awareness among their fellow Floridians about collaborative law.

The Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay details the divorce on its site — noting that the day of the official divorce was the first time the judge in the case met the divorcing couple, noted that they settled their issues and were able to forge a relationship as co-parents more effectively than they might have in an adversarial court battle. Collaborative law is new to Tampa — only being authorized for use in Hillsborough County last year — and it’s still relatively new to Floridians in the state’s other major metro areas.

Texans are fortunate to have had collaborative law as a divorce option for more than a decade, and as this recent case in Florida is demonstrating, there’s not only value in a collaborative divorce while couples are determining how to solve issues related to children and finances — that value carries over after the divorce is final, helping divorcing couples maintain their relationship as co-parents, and saving them the time, money, and energy that a fight in court can consume.

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