Collaborative Professionals of Southwest Florida Successfully Complete Pro Bono Collaborative Case

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Ashley and Jacob proceeded with a Dissolution of Marriage through a pro bono Collaborative Divorce proceeding. Ashley had been approved for representation by the Lee County Legal Aid Society. Legal Aid brought Ashley’s case to the attention of the Collaborative Professionals of Southwest Florida for possible pro bono representation.

The efforts to create a local pro bono Collaborative Divorce program were initiated as a result of the success of similar programs around the state. The Collaborative Professionals of Southwest Florida approached the Lee County Legal Aid Society with the idea, and Executive Director/Attorney Alina Gonzalez-Dockery and Attorney Blair Deminico immediately agreed to support the initiative. The relationship was further solidified when Psychologist Deborah Silver and Attorney Keith Grossman conducted a training program for the Legal Aid attorneys and staff.

Two attorneys, Keith Grossman and Sheldon Finman, along with psychologist Deborah Silver, accountant Todd McGee, and valuation analyst Trisch Gerber (Garthoeffner), volunteered their time to work on a pro bono basis on behalf of the family. Silver acted in the role of the facilitator, and Gerber acted as the scribe at each of the sessions.

The parties have one child together, who is 4 years old. The parties were married in 2011 and separated in 2014. Each of the parties are involved in new relationships and have additional children with their current partners.

The parties have minimal assets and liabilities. Alimony was not at issue. Child support needed to be determined.

The parties worked closely with Psychologist Silver to draft an acceptable Parenting Plan. In addition to 4 sessions with all the professionals, they met in session alone with Dr. Silver for the purpose of crafting their Parenting Plan. Other questions that the professionals addressed at the sessions included managing debt and child support amounts.

With the assistance of all the professionals, the parties were able to successfully arrive at a complete settlement agreement and Parenting Plan. Upon completion of drafting the legal documents, Legal Aid assumed final responsibility for representing Ashley and filing the Dissolution of Marriage matter on her behalf.

Courtesy of:

Collaborative Professionals of Southwest Florida

Ft. Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, and Estero

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