Early Thursday morning, Robert J. Merlin, P.A. presented the Collaborative rules to the Florida Supreme Court. Now, the justices will meet to discuss the proposed rules before they issue an opinion. We hope for a ruling within the next couple of months. The justices choices on the Collaborative rules are:
- Approve the rules as they were presented. If this happens, the rules would become effective when the justices say so. We have asked the justices to make the rules effective 30 days after they are approved, which is when the statute would become effective as well.
- Approve the concept of the rules but make some revisions to them. The revised rules would go into effect as stated in option #1.
- Send the rules to a committee or create a task force to consider revisions to the rules. That could be a detailed and long process taking many months and could also impact the effectiveness of the statute. The hope is that the justices will create a task force to address standards for certification and training, but that they would not hold up the rules for this.
- The justices can also reject the concept in its entirety. This outcome is a longshot, especially since there is a statute waiting for rules, the SC Steering Committee on Children and Families had no objection to the rules, the SC ADR Rules and Policy Committee did not have any real objections. The only objection from anyone in the state for more than a year, suggests that rules be established.
We commend Robert for the tremendous amount of work he has done leading up to this moment. We look forward to a positive ruling from the justices as we can continue our efforts to make the Collaborative Process the first choice for divorce in Florida.