Family Law and Attorney Leadership

By Family Law Attorney Tom Marks

I read a great book while on vacation last week on the topic of leadership. You might ask what does leadership have to do with a family law practice. Don’t family law attorneys just deal with divorce, timesharing, children’s issues, equitable distribution, alimony and the like?

Well actually, good family law attorneys are all about leadership. If the divorce attorney is open to new ideas and ways of helping others, then he or she is able to influence, teach and mentor others in the process. When the client arrives in an emotionally and financially vulnerable place, the attorney can exercise integrity and leadership to help the client navigate through the divorce, modification, enforcement or other any other type of family law case.

Good family law attorneys, as leaders, need to have a vision and be able to communicate that to the client. They also need to have good communication skills and to be highly competent in their profession. Great leaders, who happen to be family law attorneys, need to have great people skills and be able to coach their clients through a very difficult process. They need to be open to doing what is in the best interest of the client, even if that means helping them reconcile their marriage and keep their family together. That is called integrity.

I have read a lot of books on leadership and have always tried to exercise the principles I’ve learned not only in my personal and family life but also in my professional life as a family law attorney.


Collaborative Law

Collaborative Law


What is the Collaborative process?
It is a process in which individuals involved in a Dissolution of Marriage or other Family Law matter work with collaboratively trained professionals, including attorneys, mental health therapists, or PhD Psychologists or Therapists, and Financial Planners or CPAs as part of a team to resolve issues amicably and provide fair and agreed upon solutions without going through the Litigation process and Court. The Parties and their Attorneys agree to stay in the collaborative process without going to Court to achieve a mutually beneficial result.

The Collaborative Process considers each person’s goals and approaches these goals with an open and trustworthy process to move toward a positive outcome fulfilling the goals of each party. Utilizing neutrals like mental health therapists or PhD Psychologists, financial professionals, vocational counselors, etc., the unique team of professionals are gathered to provide families with the professional resources to meet the Parties’ goals and help families prepare for future success.

What distinguishes the Collaborative Process from other methods of resolving divorce?
Each party receives the advice & guidance of their own personal attorney through the entire process while also having a customized team of neutral professionals addressing psychological, emotional, and financial issues each family faces. The Collaborative Process promotes goal setting and problem-solving to obtain durable agreements, provide security and privacy, and less conflict during the process and in the future. Collaborative Divorce provides an opportunity to build the trust and communication skills a couple will need post-divorce, which is in the best interest of the children.

What are the key benefits of the Collaborative Process?

  • Allows a professional team to assist in working toward resolution of both parties’ goals in an non- adversarial manner.
  • Potentially less expensive and time consuming.
  • The Parties have more control over of the outcome.
  • Reduces opposition and hostility between parties.
  • Minimizes future conflict.
  • Provides new tools for valuable problem-solving that can be used in a positive way for the future parenting opportunities.
  • Takes specific goals of both parties into consideration.
  • Avoids adversarial court proceedings and Trial

Is Collaborative Practice for Everyone?
No. The Collaborative process requires a certain amount of trust and willingness to openly discuss goals and to avoid litigation. If there are serious issues which involve domestic violence, physical and mental abuse, mental illness, drug abuse, etc., then Collaborative practice may not be the best option. Speak to Attorney Tom Marks to obtain more information about what method is most suitable for your situation.

Blogs regarding the Collaborative Process in Orlando, Florida:

Litigation vs Collaborative Divorce in Orlando Florida

What is the Difference Between Collaborative and Cooperative Law?

Communicating with the Neutrals in a Collaborative Case

What to Expect in the First Collaborative Team Meeting

Collaborative Law: A Brief History and Overview

How Can Collaborative Divorce Benefit You and Your Family?

Florida Passes the Collaborative Process Act

Collaborative Law vs. Divorce Mediation in Family Law

Orlando Collaborative Family Law and Professionalism

YouTube Videos with Central Florida Collaboratively Trained Professionals:

What Financial Documents Are Produced in a Collaborative Case?

Why Do Central Florida Divorce Attorneys Advocate for Collaborative Law?

Who Is Considered an Allied Professional in the Collaborative Process?

When Is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Appropriate for Your Collaborative Case?

How Does a Mental Health Neutral Impact the Collaborative Process?