Next Generation Divorce Donates to the Florida Civil Collaborative Practice Group
The bustling City of Tampa in the State of Florida is the fastest growing collaborative practice community in the country. As collaborative practice groups form in Tampa, they support each other in the true spirit of collaboration. In fact, on February 10, 2016, Joryn Jenkins, Esq., on behalf of the collaborative practice group, Next Generation Divorce (NGD), presented NGD’s donation in the amount of $2,000.00 to the Florida Civil Collaborative Practice Group, a newly formed civil collaborative practice group in Tampa, as seed money for its non-profit operations.
What is a collaborative practice group? It’s a group of professionals, including but not limited to attorneys, financial specialists, and mental health professionals, who are trained in the collaborative dispute resolution (CDR) process, a more peaceful alternative to courtroom litigation. Courtroom litigation can be time-consuming, expensive, exposing, and exhausting. And once you have retained lawyers, the process often spins out of your control. And into the public domain.
The CDR alternative to litigation is spreading like wildfire in Tampa Bay. When you agree to CDR, both disputants retain collaborative attorneys. The two lawyers then choose neutral experts, usually a facilitator and a financial specialist, to serve on your team. All of these professionals are CDR-trained, to ensure the team functions appropriately to develop and achieve the disputants’ goals, identified in a series of full team and one-on-one meetings.
So instead of leaving the decision up to a judge whose calendar is mired with hundreds of cases and who does not know you or your values, you are in charge of the focus, decisions, and pace of the collaborative process. Your lawyers function as team problem solvers and educators, rather than as courtroom adversaries and gladiators. Your neutral facilitator is a mental health professional who manages the emotional content of your meetings, keeping them on track and productive, and acting as the referee of the team and the process. Your financial neutral gathers information, provides impartial financial guidance, and helps you to create financial options.
CDR is characterized first by its safe environment. You and your lawyers agree not to go to court. This formal agreement aligns the attorneys’ goals with yours; they won’t represent you if you give up on CDR and opt for court instead. In addition, you can speak freely in your meetings; nothing you say will be used against you in court.
The second unique trait of CDR is transparency. Both disputants pledge to be honest and to share all information. This obviates the need for an expensive discovery process. And the use of a neutral financial professional obviates the more costly employment of battling experts.
The third distinguishing feature is privacy. Instead of publishing your sensitive issues and personal financials for the entire world to see, CDR enables you to keep such information out of the public record.
Finally, CDR allows you to customize your results to fit your needs and values. In CDR, the parties create solutions that a judge might not think of or be allowed by law to require.
For more information on collaborative practice groups in Tampa Bay, go to http://nextgenerationdivorce.com/ or http://www.tampabaycollaborative.com/. For collaborative divorce in Florida, go to http://www.collaborativepracticeflorida.com/ and for more collaborative divorce information nationally, go to http://www.collaborativepractice.com/. For civil collaborative law nationally, go to http://collaborativelaw.us/.
About this week’s author: Joryn Jenkins.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law while also serving as a full-time professor in law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership to The American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.