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Family Law

Sarasota Attorney Takes a Collaborative Approach to Family Law

Nontraditional process preserves the integrity of your family relationships

Tia E. Jensen, P.A. is not a traditional family law practice. I am committed to helping my clients resolve their family law issues through the collaborative process without resorting to litigation. I have more than 20 years of legal experience and specific training as a collaborative attorney, Supreme Court-certified mediator, and qualified parenting coordinator. I also believe that high-quality legal services should be accessible to average people, so I keep my hourly rates low and offer unbundled services without demanding a retainer. Depending on the scope of your problem, I can perform the limited work you need to manage your legal issues, so you only pay for the work I do. However, if you want start-to-finish representation, I can help you resolve a full range of issues through collaboration or mediation.

How collaborative family law works in Florida

Collaborative family law is similar to mediation in that parties to a dispute work voluntarily with a neutral third party to reach a settlement they can both live with. However, while mediation is a pre-litigation requirement, the collaborative process is a deliberate choice to avoid litigation. Parties and attorneys pledge not to take their case to trial, and if a party reneges, he or she must start over at square one with new counsel.

The collaborative process also differs from mediation in that it is a team effort. Parties have their own lawyers but share a financial advisor (to assist with monetary, property and tax issues) and a coach (a mental health professional to help with relationship and parenting issues). All team members are specifically trained in the collaborative process.

Couples can schedule sessions at their own pace, so the process generally moves much more quickly than litigation. Expenses are controlled and shared, so the cost of collaboration is generally much lower than litigation. And, importantly, the process is cooperative and respectful, rather than adversarial. This is especially important for parents who must continue to relate to each other while raising their children.

Collaborative family law addresses a multitude of issues

Collaborative family law is a process for couples to resolve family issues voluntarily without resorting to trial in family court. The Collaborative Law Process Act (CLPA) and rules developed by the Florida Supreme Court govern the collaborative process. Couples can use the collaborative process to address a wide array of family law issues, including:

  • Divorce — If you are dissolving your marriage, you can settle all of your ancillary issues (alimony, child custody, child support, and property division) through the collaborative process.
  • Child custody — If you already have a parenting plan, but it isn’t working for you, or your circumstances have changed, you can negotiate changes and then present the modified plan to the court for approval.
  • Relocation — Florida Statutes Section 61.13001 governs whenever a custodial parent wishes to relocate with the children at a distance greater than 50 miles. Judges are required to examine many factors, applying them to your circumstances, but judges have a limited knowledge of your situation. The collaborative process allows the parent to retain control over the outcome.
  • Child support — When parents are transparent about their finances and look objectively at the state guidelines for child support, they can be successful negotiating a fair child support agreement.
  • Paternity — Unmarried parents can negotiate a parenting plan and child support through the collaborative process.

If you believe the collaborative process might be appropriate for your family law conflict, take advantage of a free consultation to learn more.

Contact a trained and experienced collaborative family law attorney in Sarasota

Collaborative family law helps couples resolve issues in a timely manner with less stress and expense. Importantly, it is a dignified process that preserves family relationships. To learn how Tia E. Jensen, P.A. can guide you through the process, call today at 941-330-9600 or contact my Sarasota office online to schedule a free consultation. My office is conveniently located in the Ringling Professional Center, 2831 Ringling Blvd.