Sheila Furr PHD

How does collaborative compare to litigation?

Who Controls the ProcessYou and your spouse control the process and make final decisionsJudge controls the process and makes final decisions
Degree of AdversityYou and your spouse pledge mutual respect and opennessCourt process is based on an adversarial system
CostCosts are manageable, usually less expensive than litigation; team model is financially efficient in use of expertsCosts are unpredictable and can escalate rapidly including frequency of post-judgement litigation
TimetableYou and your spouse create the timetableJudge sets the timetable; often delays given crowded court
Use of Outside ExpertsJointly retained specialists provide information and guidance helping you and your spouse develop informed mutually beneficial solutionsSeparate experts are hired to support the litigants' positions, often at great expense to each
Involvement of LawyersYour lawyers work toward a mutually created settlementLawyers fight to win, but someone loses
PrivacyThe process, discussion and negotiation details are kept privateDispute becomes a matter of public record & sometimes, media attention
Facilitation of CommunicationTeam of collaborative practice specialists educate and assist you and your spouse on how to effectively communicate with each otherNo process designed to facilitate communication
Voluntary Vs MandatoryVoluntaryMandatory if no agreement
Lines of CommunicationYou and your spouse communicate directly with the assistance of members of your teamYou and your spouse negotiate through your lawyers
Court InvolvementOutside courtCourt-based

Credit: International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

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What Is The
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What Is Collaborative
Life Planning

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What Collaborative Divorce Sounds
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What Collaborative Clients
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What Collaborative Clients
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Collaborative Divorce

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Why People Are choosing
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Professional Resources

Family Mediator

Dr. Sheila Furr is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator who helps divorcing couples in a voluntary and consensual process known as mediation to facilitate the negotiation of a divorce or dispute. Some couples would rather address the emotional and parenting issues with a mental health professional rather than start their process with a lawyer. Financial issues have a clear emotional component and sometimes Dr Furr co-mediates with a collaboratively trained financial expert. Should there be a need for legal advice, a lawyer can be brought into the process. When the full team makes sense, Collaborative Mediation might be the answer.

Child Specialist

As a Child Specialist, Dr. Furr serves as the voice of the child in the collaborative process, while keeping them out of parental conflict. The child specialist is a neutral member of the collaborative professional team providing support to the family and advocacy for the children. She helps the parents focus on the best interests of their children based on meeting them and assessing their needs. The purpose of a child specialist during the divorce process is to minimize the impact of the divorce on your children and to create an individualized parenting plan and timeshare schedule.

Neutral Facilitator

Serving as a Neutral Facilitator in the Collaborative Process, Dr. Sheila Furr guides you, your spouse/partner, and the Collaborative team through the Collaborative Divorce process. As the Neutral Facilitator, Dr. Furr will help divorcing spouses navigate through difficult and emotional discussions to ensure that the needs of the entire family are considered. As a psychologist and communication specialist, she will help guide discussion to keep communication productive and respectful. When there are minors involved, Dr. Furr will meet with the parents in the preparation of the parenting plan and timeshare schedule.

Accredited Collaborative Professional

Accredited Collaborative Professionals are amongst the most experienced Collaborative Professionals in the State of Florida. To receive the distinction of an Accredited Collaborative Professional, Dr. Sheila Furr met all the standards of education, ethics and experience set forth by the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals.