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Collaborative Law Training In Punta Gorda

A big thank you to the Charlotte County Collaborative Professionals for hosting the Collaborative Law Training seminar April 27 and 28 in Punta Gorda, Florida at The Farr Law Firm. The two day event featured the Florida Collaborative Law Trainers presenting an introductory course. The seminar was well attended by attorneys, mental health professionals and financial advisors.

The Collaborative Law Process is a team approach used to resolve family law disputes. In this process the parties pledge to settle their dispute in a civil manner without litigation. The parties work with their specially trained lawyers, a neutral facilitator and other experts, if needed, to resolve conflict and develop a workable settlement. The Collaborative law Process has advantages over “going to Court”.

  • PRIVATE-The collaborative law process takes place in a private, confidential setting. Courtrooms are open forums full with people who listen to your personal details as the case is litigated.
  • LESS EXPENSIVE-The collaborative law process is usually less expensive than fighting it out in Court.
  • QUICKER-Resolving a case collaboratively is faster than having a trial and waiting for a Judge to rule.
  • CONVENIENT-The parties decide when and where to meet to work on resolving their case. Going to Court means the Judge sets the schedule of the case at the convenience of the Court without much regard for the parties’ schedules.

There are numerous other reasons to use the Collaborative Law Process. For more information regarding this process and the Charlotte County Collaborative Professionals

Business Valuations

We are pleased to announce that Mira Staggers White has been certified by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts as a Certified Valuation Analyst. This certification ensures that Ms. White has the education, training and experience to conduct business valuations for divorce and family law matters.

Collaborative Law Training

Mira Staggers White recently completed the collaborative law training offered by the Tampa Bay Collaborative Law Trainers. With this training, Ms. White can serve as a financial expert in collaborative law cases. Collaborative law is relatively new to Florida, but is a proven and effective way to resolve family law cases.

What is collaborative law?
The collaborative law process, in Florida, is a voluntary process, in which parties attempt to settle their legal matter without the expense, frustration, and delay often associated with litigation. Collaborative law is a form of alternative dispute resolution. The parties and their attorneys pledge to work cooperatively to reach a settlement of the parties’ case.

The process focuses on the interests of both clients and their families, and how to reach an agreement that best serves those interests. All information necessary to make knowledgeable decisions is voluntarily provided by the parties. After the necessary information is assembled and disseminated to the parties, the collaborative law participants (
i.e., parties, attorneys and experts) develop a range of potential options that best meets the needs and interests of the parties.

In cases that present complex issues, experts may be needed to assist in the gathering and organizing of information, and developing feasible settlement options. Commons types of experts retained include financial experts and mental health professionals. If experts are necessary, they are jointly retained by the parties and all information gathered and opinions formed by the experts are openly shared with the parties and their attorneys.

Once a range of potential options is generated and each party understands the options, the collaborative law participants discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option. The parties then work cooperatively select an option that best meets both of their needs. If a settlement is reached, an agreement is written reflecting the settlement terms. The settlement agreement usually then presented to the Court for approval.

How does a collaborative law case begin?
To begin the collaborative law process, both parties must agree. In Florida, the Court cannot order parties to participate in the collaborative law process. Once the parties have agreed to participate in the collaborative law process, they and their attorneys must commit to the process by signing a Participation Agreement.

The Participation Agreement is a contract that describes the nature and scope of the process and requires that:
  • The parties voluntarily disclose all information and materials necessary for each party to make informed decisions about the matters presented by their case;
  • The parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement of their case;
  • Each party must be represented by an attorney, whose representation terminates upon if either party proceeds to seek Court resolution of any contested matter; and,
  • The parties agree to jointly retain mental health or financial professionals to help resolve issues, if necessary.

What are the benefits of the collaborative law process?
There are many advantages to using the collaborative law process to resolve a family law case, including:
  • The collaborative law process allows parties to resolve their case with the guidance of trained professionals without arguing positions before a Judge in a public forum.
  • The collaborative law process allows the parties to determine and control the outcome of their case, rather than have a result mandated by a Judge or Magistrate.
  • The collaborative law process allows the parties to consider resolutions that a Judge or Magistrate cannot. Thus, allowing the parties to develop a settlement uniquely tailored to the needs of their families.
  • The collaborative law process removes the threat of “going to Court”, reducing the parties’ anxiety and fear, allowing them to focus on finding amicable solutions.
  • The collaborative law process helps the parties learn to communicate constructively and cooperate to reach a common goal, laying the foundation for a heathy relationship in after the legal matter is concluded.
  • The collaborative law process is usually less expense than pursuing the traditional litigation route to resolve a family law case.

Open for Business

MSW Litigation Support Services, Inc. assists litigants and their attorneys with the preparation and presentation of their family law case. We offer a broad range of expert and consulting services, including:
  • Legal Research and Memorandum Preparation
  • Financial Affidavit Preparation
  • Child Support Calculations
  • Present Value Calculations for Pensions
  • Small Business Valuations
  • Lifestyle Analysis
  • Equitable Distribution Proposals
  • Expert Testimony for Attorneys Fees
  • Expert Testimony for Accounting and Valuation Issues
  • Witness Preparation Assistance & Mock Trials
  • Case Evaluation and Litigation Strategy Development