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The collaborative approach to dissolution of marriage is an alternative way of handling divorce which gives the parties the ability to find solutions to their dissolution issues in a civilized, respectful process. Marie-Eve Girard, CPA, ABV and Sonya Johnson, CPA, CFF, ABV are very active in the Collaborative Divorce community.
In the Collaborative process, the clients agree that they will treat each other with respect. Both attorneys and clients sign an agreement to proceed with their case without litigation. A team is set up which includes the attorneys and often times a financial professional and a facilitator who act as neutrals on behalf of both parties through the process. The collaborative process is a less stressful and more cost-effective way to resolve your dissolution of marriage. It is especially helpful for families with children in that it can preserve some of the dignity of the spousal relationship so that they can focus on positive parenting in the future.
Given our experience in the litigation arena, we believe that the collaborative process is a better alternative than Court for all of the parties involved. We will continue to be active in the development of this process in the family law field and in other areas of litigation. Analyses prepared as a financial expert in Collaborative are essentially the same as in our litigated cases. However, we represent both parties and can work with each of them on any necessary financial analyses.
Both Marie-Eve Girard and Sonya Johnson are volunteers for Pro Bono and Modest Mean Collaborative Divorce efforts and are working to expand this program to service eligible families in Hillsborough and Pinellas County.
For families who may be qualified for pro bono collaborative family law services (generally with income equal to or less than 125% of the U.S. Poverty Guidelines), you can contact Bay Area Legal Services.
Hillsborough County – (813) 232-1343
Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota County – (800) 625-2257