Collaborative law is a relatively new method of dispute resolution. In Florida, collaborative techniques are utilized primarily to solve marital and family problems. The concept is an alternative to traditional litigation, allowing families an opportunity to discuss and solve their problems with the help of attorneys and neutral professionals, such as a financial expert or mental health counselor. Through a series of meetings, the professionals guide the parties to a resolution that they design for themselves.
This new philosophy was developed in the early 1990’s as an alternative to the lengthy and expensive trial path. For decades, attorneys have offered one option – court. In family law, for example, spouses sign-on with two attorneys and no end-date in sight, and they pay large retainers that eventually exhaust and require replenishment – on top of the cost for two of each type of expert witness that may be required. The tools of civil procedure and spousal animosity feed the beast until one or both of the spouses are forced into a settlement, either because they can no longer afford the game or because they finally realize the damage caused to the children. Family law is the vivid example, but the same is true of all subject matters. Litigation is a toxic cycle. Mediation, limited to a few hours, over one or two days, with a mediator that only met the parties that morning, is hardly beneficial.
WEST FLORIDA COLLABORATIVE LAW, INC.
West Florida Collaborative Law, Inc. is a Florida not-for-profit corporation, a consortium of attorneys, financial professionals, and mental health counselors, social workers, and clergy, working together to educate our colleagues and community about collaborative dispute resolution options. Though WFCL is focused on family law, as of 2018, we anticipate growth in the near future to include other practice areas. WFCL is not a referral service, and the group does not promote any one of our members above another. Each of us runs our own respective businesses or is part of a firm.
COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW IN ESCAMBIA AND SANTA ROSA COUNTY, FLORIDA
If you are an attorney, financial expert, mental health counselor, social worker, clergy-member, or family planner, contact one of our members to learn more about WFCL and how to collaborate with us.
Anticipating a divorce? Already in the middle of one? Looking for a better option? Visit our Professional Profiles page to meet our trained collaborative law professionals. We are professionals helping families with a new philosophy!