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Get Lawyered Up E1 – Estate Planning & Creating a Will | Why You Should Be Planning Your Estate Now

If you have been involved in a an SUV or car accident in the Tampa Bay area call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez at 813-755-9500

 

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Martin H. 0:01
Welcome to the get Lawyered up now Martin Hernandez Personal Injury podcast your go to source for the latest insights fearless advocacy, and the inside scoop on securing compensation you deserve after a car accident. Attorney Martin Hernandez, your relentless Personal Injury Lawyer, perhaps ready to tackle tough questions, bust the myths and arm you with the knowledge you need to navigate the complex world of personal injury law. In each of these episodes, we’ll dive deep into the real case studies, chat with industry experts and uncover the strategies that leveled the playing field. So buckle up, hold on tight, because justice is our destination, and we’re driving full speed ahead. With us today is George Melendez. He’s a Tampa Family injury, I’m sorry, Tampa family law lawyer. And I’ve known George since first grade. And we’re gonna get into his history and about his practice in a second because he is actually here to talk about an alternative to a full out litigation on your divorce, which is a lot more efficient and effective. And believe it or not, you walk away usually a little bit happier with your ex. Well, we’re going to talk about collaborative divorce. But first I’m going to give an update to the 2023 family laws. And the legislature effective July one of this year changed how alimony is going to be calculated. First, the bill eliminates permanent alimony, which was never the law. But this is now gone. And you decide whether this is good. This is bad. I’m not going to talk about my opinion. I’m not going to tell you what if it’s a good idea or bad. I’m just going to tell you the law you decide later. There will be temporary bridge the gap rehabilitative durational alimony and courts may order alimony to be paid either lump sum or in periodic payments. The courts will also be permitted to consider adultery of either spouse and its resulting economic impact in determining the amount of alimony to be awarded. So if your spouse has cheated on you, now can be considered whereas before No. Third, the courts will be required to consider nine factors in determining alimony. First, regarding alimony, the court has to consider whether the party seeking support has an actual need or support and whether the other party has the ability to pay the support. So if the answer is no to both, you stop right there. So if you cannot afford it, and your spouse doesn’t need it, you don’t have to pay. The party seeking support will then have the burden to prove that he or she has the need and that the other party has the ability to pay. Once the courts determined that one of the parties has a need for support and the other party has the ability to pay the support. The court will then consider the following eight additional factors in determining the proper form alimony, the party standing standard of living, the duration of the parties marriage, the parties age, physical and mental condition, the income and resources of both parties and income earned from marital and non marital assets and earning capacities educational levels and employability of the parties and the contribution that each of the parties made to the marriage including education career building, homemaking, childcare. Number eight, the responsibilities that each of the parties will have in raising their children and any other factor in the court of equity that the court may think is fair. A short term marriage is also now defined. And so it was a long term marriage and it actually comes with different levels. First off a short term marriage is not considered any marriage that’s less than 10 years, and moderate term marriage is going to be considered anything between 10 and 20 years. A long term marriage is now be considered any marriages longer than 20 years. And remember Florida does not recognize you to be legally married. If you just live with one another. That’s just your boyfriend or girlfriend. Bridge the Gap alimony is one type of alimony as can be awarded and that’s a type of alimony. This wanted to assist a party in making a transition from marriage to being single that cannot exceed two years. rehabilitative alimony is intended to provide education and training that will enable a party to become self supporting and contribute to their own support. This cannot exceed five years. And then durational alimony lasts for the period of time for a set period of time now, it may not exceed 50% of the length of time to short term marriage. Remember, look short term marriage is anything less than 10 years. So no more than five years. And in modern term marriage 60% of the time of the length of the term marriage. So if you’ve been married 20 Oh, let’s say 18 years. You pay six no more than 6% of the 18 years. And then for long term marriage. Let’s say somebody who has been married 40 years that you know the length of time of a marriage cannot exceed 75% or in 40 years 30% 30 years. So An award of durational alimony may not be extended except under specific circumstances. And I’m not going to get into whether or not that’s a good idea or fair or not. That’s That’s for you to decide. An alimony award may not leave the oblique or the pain, the one who’s paying with significantly less income than the net income of the person who’s receiving it. So that’s the big differences in Florida law. But with us today is a family law lawyer, George Melendez. And George, I’ve known George, believe it or not, since first grade man, we were six or seven years old when we first met, went back in the 1900s. And approximately 1981, at the Academy of the holy names, and from first grade, and then we went to high school together, Jesuit High School, graduated together, and then we met up again, oh, actually, we started USF together go Bowles. And then we, you went to Fordham, and I finished USF. And then we met up again. And law school. That’s right, actually, Furman. Oh, sorry. That’s right. And, and then from there, we even shared space for a while, and we still do this right. And I know three things about family law. I know I don’t do family law. I won’t do family law. And I know George Mullen has his phone number. So whenever a client calls from me and says, Hey, I have a family law issue. The person I give is George Melendez. Now first, George, you went to Furman, what was your major?

George M. 6:37
Well, first of all, Martin, I’d love to answer that question. But I just want to say, great intro this morning. Thank you. Very creative. And the reason I bring that up is creativity is sort of the key to being a lawyer, my opinion, in many ways, right? Being an advocate, trying to figure out what the right thing to do is to be a counsel for in my, in my case, families, on behalf of children. The reason I bring that up as because as we delve into this topic further, you’ve raised some legislative changes. And what I don’t want to forget is how creativity has sort of lit up the environment of what we currently have, under the statutes, people, attorneys will figure out ways to argue on behalf of their client, no matter what law we’re dealing with. And that’s not going to change going forward, as we start to see these types of changes. It may recalibrate a little bit. Okay. But there’s always going to be another argument, things we haven’t thought about. And there’s always going to be judicial discretion. And at you know, and then there’s going to be new law that comes from it. As people test the boundaries, judges make decisions and things get to the appellate courts. So when you say, buckle your seatbelt and, you know, hang on for the ride. I think we’re we’re going down another path. So to answer your question, I did major in fine art, art history, and I had a minor in science at my undergraduate education. So I definitely, law was not on the horizon for me at that time.

Martin H. 8:31
Okay, then you graduate and go, I think worked for your father for a little bit. And

George M. 8:36
I worked for my dad, he’s a retired physician. I did not work as a physician. I worked in the office. As I did prior to college. I worked at a local warehouse art supply store in Tampa, and that was sort of a mainstay for people in that industry. For a while, and I worked at I also assisted at University of Tampa, for a brief period of time with their undergraduate program sort of allowed me to sort of gain studio space while I sort of lent a hand in the studio with some of the the college students at that time. So you know, so I was I was doing my own artwork for a while sort of using the skills I learned and also trying to figure out what the next step my life was gonna be.

Martin H. 9:32
You started volunteering somewhere, right?

George M. 9:36
So at that time, I had applications out for fine art programs throughout the country. I also someone put a little idea my my mind about I never knew about this, but it was a program that we have in the state. Actually, we have in many states, it’s the office of the Guardian litem. So I started doing volunteer work through that off as, as a as a child advocate. That’s really where I started sort of my, my career, if you will, even though it was a volunteer position. I think we’re talking 1999 is when I first became certified as a guardian litem. So now I started having choices. I got accepted, I had a full ride to University of Notre Dame for fine arts. And then I started getting acceptance letters for law school. So I had to choose and I did go the last the law school path. Now we’re gonna

Martin H. 10:35
get back to guardian ad litem. But the reason why I brought you on today is to talk about collaborative divorce something an alternative that’s not well known about in the community. I mean, the legal community is just actually just picking up. And this is an alternative to the full on fight of a divorce. Right?

George M. 10:53
It can be absolutely and, and collaborative has become a buzzword that we see everywhere you see in elementary schools, you know, it’s it’s, it’s all over the place. But for a while now, we have embraced it in the community as an alternative to the traditional route, if you will. Now, the the traditional route does not mean you’re going, you know, full bore into litigation. But that opportunity is there. And, and what I always tell people that come in to see me, because I do believe I have an ethical responsibility to give them the options that are available. I think it’s a really important step that some people miss, right? If you don’t tell them about it, and they fall victim to a process that lends itself to pitching themselves against each other. And they later found out about it, can you imagine what they think about the advice that you’ve given them,

Martin H. 11:52
right? Because collaborative can be a lot cheaper,

George M. 11:54
it can be in so and faster, and child focused. Okay. And I think that’s a really important piece to this. One of the sort of Pinnacle points that I like to make with families is when you Now granted, you can work out many cases without going full litigation. But think about it for a second, we sort of put people into a scenario of litigation that came from civil litigation where you’re suing each other. Right? Okay. So breaking the contract, you’re breaking the contract, but you’re literally suing, you’re serving them. There’s an emotional sort of component with being served. you plead for certain things in the petition, many times attorneys fees. So what may not necessarily start as litigation, many times has a knee jerk reaction of I better prepare, I better start defending myself from the lawyer’s perspective, if that possibility of trial is there, and there’s a lot of risk and exposure because of that, okay. People will, the lawyer is compelled to not only proceed but prepare for that day. So if you remove all of that, and you take the same efforts, and the party’s resources, and you focus on settlement options that are conducive for the family, that are custom tailored to the family, that puts the children in the foremost puts them first in terms of all considerations. That’s where you have a wonderful process that really gives people something special. Right? Okay. So I believe in it, it’s really,

Martin H. 13:46
you’re basically working together to make sure that I mean, your family, the family is already going to be disrupted. So you’re trying to not disrupt the lives of the kids any more than necessary that basically what you’re trying to,

George M. 13:59
yeah, so instead of, and listen, for most people, this is we have to change our vernacular. Okay, so let’s change our terms from disruptive to transition. Okay. Okay. All right. So what we’re doing is we recognize there will be a chant transition, there will be a change, but that transition can actually be very healthy. Many times people can figure out ways Remember when you said together, that’s a great word, okay. Team, okay. So, it becomes more of a team focus. And we can sort of pick and choose by agreement, the teammates, if you will, that will be best suited for any particular family. And many times we can figure out options that will simply not be available to parties, should they choose the other one of the other alternative, you know, processes. So, so yes, we can. We can come up with settlement terms that not even the courts can give, because remember, the judges are confined by the laws, right? Okay. I always tell people, empower yourself, you actually have more power than the judge, obviously, if you’re doing things appropriate, right, but you can come up again, here comes the word again, you can be more creative and come up with things that the court can’t do, right? Even though the court may want to do and think it’s best for your family or children. So embrace that.

Martin H. 15:27
You know, it’s funny, you say that, because I read an article recently, where husband and wife didn’t go into why they were separating, getting a divorce, but they had a special needs child. And the child could not easily be removed from the home, and they owned the home together. And I don’t know if there was a mortgage or whatnot. But what the article did say was a three bedroom home. So the husband and wife came up with the idea of probably one of the lawyers, because lawyers tend to think outside the box that they gave the home to the child. And then the parents moved in and out. Alternatively, right, and the child stayed in the house. And I don’t know which one of the parents got the master bedroom, and the other one got the other bedroom. And that was there. In one week, on one week off. I thought that was genius, not to move and disrupt this child’s life, any more than necessary. And I forget the details, but I thought that was a great idea. And that’s probably something you could talk about, you know, in collaborative,

George M. 16:30
you know, I don’t care what it is in life, if you have a desire and a will to make something happen. You can, you can do it. And and so movies are made out of that same thing. Right? Okay. And we all know that, that people have these situations. But think about it, you can call in an attorney that specializes in that area in your team, so that we’re all provided with the best advice about how to help the families in that regard. So absolutely, there’s plenty of opportunities where a trust can be created on behalf of children. There’s all kinds of and that’s, that’s the beauty and downfalls of family law, and incorporates just about every area of law. Because we’re families, and we live when we have these things. So, you know, that’s where in litigation, we lose focus, because there’s such a, there’s such a heightened focus on the win. Right? Okay, pulling that concept out of the equation, and trying to figure out how to put people in sometimes a better place than where they were, before they came to see you. And, and being open enough, taking your ego and putting it in the cooler. And bringing in someone that you recognize has a higher skill set than you do in a certain discipline? I don’t we don’t families deserve that that often.

Martin H. 18:08
I mean, I don’t go to my cardiologist for a dermatologist problem. So don’t go to one of these lawyers that do it seven areas of law, go to a lawyer that concentrates or specializes in that. So, you know, in lawyers that, you know, don’t have the motivation to drain their clients financially. Sure, you know, maybe try to work with the other lawyer and say, Hey, let’s try to get this resolved, you know, as quickly in an economically as possible. So a collaborative take me through like the first thing, I’m going through a divorce. And, you know, my wife and I are still amicable and we’re still talking, but we just can’t live together, right? Whatever reason, sure, I come to you, and you pitch me collaborative. Her attorney agrees, what’s the next step

George M. 18:59
in and let me just back up one given step further is collaborative shouldn’t only be for the perfect family that’s getting along perfectly. Right. Right, because we can help them out in many different ways. But in of course, I’d love to help them collaborative because we can build options, the whole nine yards. But I don’t want to forget the fact that, you know, families that are coming to us with problems that and again, that’s life, right, right, we find them that way. So these these families can benefit from what we offer and collaborative, just as the others that have most things worked out. So I just don’t want to forget about those families as well. But so for one, there does need to be a lawyer for each each parent if you will for each spouse collaborative training is necessary. Okay. Having experience is a good thing. So we recognize that that’s something that we we want to integrate into this process. But once they make that choice, and we have the professionals in terms of the lawyers that are chosen, the next step is they’re going to agree to what’s called a participation agreement. And then we also choose the other teammates, if you will. Okay. So I always tell people don’t go get overwhelmed when I talk to you about the the model team that we tend to use. Because what I always want people to understand is, the supreme court requires mediation, you can’t work it out, go to mediation, right. Right. Okay. And mediation is usually a day or two days, okay? And it’s successful, or it’s not, but it’s been, it’s always been a wonderful opportunity. I’m a mediator, I love doing it. I love helping people that way. But not everybody approaches mediation, as I’m going to try and work it out some people approach it is I’m just checking the box to move to the next phase of litigation. Okay. The reason I bring that up is, if you know, you’re going to have to do mediation anyhow, one of the team players of the collaborative process is a facilitator, which is sort of like a glorified mediator, we integrate that into the process from day one. So we don’t start having a festering situation. As the thing progresses, we sort of help sort of keep things at bay, from the beginning. And this person, by the way, is going to have a background in mental health. Okay, there’ll be a professional, it’s just

Martin H. 21:46
gonna ask, is there a mental health component behind this? Absolutely.

George M. 21:48
So that person’s best suited to read people to help them to sort of get them through to calm them down, to keep boundaries, to keep us on track to help make sure the lawyers are staying on track and focus and make sure the lawyers put their egos aside and the whole nine yards, right, so it serves many purposes. It’s an invaluable component to the process. Okay. So like I said, if we know we’re going to have to use that, anyhow, why not use it from day one, the next person that we tend to value highly is the other is the last person of the of the team. It’s a neutral financial. Now. So these two people are considered neutrals, not on anybody’s side. Okay? The reason why this is breakthrough, if you will, okay. If you’re going to be battling over assets, businesses, what have you money related issues, and you’re going to trial, most likely, okay, if the stakes are getting higher, each side is going to hire their own financial expert, usually a, an accountant that’s got a unique background. And so And what’s so interesting about that is these people will begin giving testimony to the court, but on the behalf of their their client. So which is the right answer,

Martin H. 23:17
right, because as you know, battle the experts, it’s always so skewed one way or the other, right?

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George M. 23:22
So and that’s a tremendous expense. And I don’t want to take away from those professionals. So they do a great job for us. We take those same professionals and say, let’s, let’s take your your skill set, bring it into a neutral sort of component here, and help develop the parties for the parties neutral options. So instead of using their skill against each other, we’re using it to develop these neutral options. And the parties find that to be a huge benefit. The lawyers find it to be a huge benefit. And that’s for topics such as equal distribution and support.

Martin H. 24:06
Right, because let’s face it, most lawyers are really bad at math. Right. So that’s why we became lawyers, right? Because we can write but we cannot do math. Right. Right. I seem to be more of the exception than the rule when it comes to math. But you’re right, though. You know, it seems like it it would be definitely more equitable. We always say equitable, but fair, right.

George M. 24:29
Yeah. It’s it’s an in Remember, these professionals have not only the educational background, but they usually go for extra training. A lot of times they’re they have forensic backgrounds. Okay. Right. So one of the big sort of con concepts are collaborative is transparency. So having someone with a forensic backgrounds very helpful what we do.

Martin H. 24:55
Yeah, definitely. And actually, there’s old saying, for media shins if both parties walk away upset that it was a successful mediation. Right, right. Right. Right. And you probably find that a lot in family law,

George M. 25:08
you know? We do because people do have to work hard to get to settlement. Okay. With collaborative, it’s not always easy. Okay. No, but I’m going to tell you something. There are times where we come to the conclusion of a case, which is really just a, like I said, a transition and a path forward to what’s next for these people. But there are many times we’re people are in tears, because they’re so happy that we didn’t harm them. That and they were they were happy with the result.

Martin H. 25:49
Yeah. Especially in cripple them. Right, right. So now, is there like a judge or mediator or referee that sometimes steps in and tries to help or no?

George M. 26:01
Well, with the facilitator, you know, that’s the person that can help sort of facilitate these conversations. And we all sort of talk to sort of move the proposals along and things of that nature. At the end of the day, we do need a judge to sign off on whatever it is they come to. So even if it’s, it is considered considered an alternative dispute process. We still need the court, we still need the state to say, this is official, here’s your final judgment. And by the way, congratulations, because you’re one of the few that chose to do this this other way. Okay. So we have a lot of support from the judiciary, even though they don’t see us through the process. They see us at the end, and and we have a large approval rate, just because the outcomes are again, the policy, the state is to be child focused.

Martin H. 27:08
Alright, and you work out, you know, child support and child visitation, the whole thing, the whole thing. Yeah, yeah. And all right. What else about collaborative Do you like?

George M. 27:20
Well, I’m glad you asked that question, um, lifestyle for the practitioner. People don’t, they don’t always know the impact to those who are assisting families. And I do recognize that there are many personality styles out there. And so some people and trust me, the courts there, because we do need them to make decisions, there are cases that have to go in front of a judge, I don’t want to take that away from people. I never want to sort of be dismissive of the judiciary in terms of how important they are and, and what a good service that they do for the community. It’s huge. Okay. But in terms of, you know, collaborative, we, we tend to see. And what was the last question more? I’m sorry, that last there for?

Martin H. 28:24
No, sir. I asked. Like, you know, what, what do you see is, what are the benefits to you,

George M. 28:28
sir? That’s right. So the impact of the practitioner, right, you know, and so there’s, litigation is stressful for so many reasons. Right? Okay. It just is not only in terms of living up to the expectation of what the client wants, and sometimes those expectations are out is world, okay. So we have the responsibility of keeping people sort of helping to counsel people, if you will, to to embrace good pas, good directions, responsible ones, appropriate ones. You know, you and I are both involved in scouting, we get we can go down the list being kind courteous, the whole nine yards, right. And people sometimes lose focus of that when they’re when they feel like they have something to lose.

Martin H. 29:28
Right, this highly emotional, and, you know, one thing one area of the law that I always say, people parties tend to say, No, it’s the principle behind the principle and I’m like, and you’re fighting over $2,000 And you’re spending about $5,000 in attorney fees, suck your principal down your throat and just pay the $2,000. This is a business decision that just lets go

George M. 29:52
and that stress for the practitioner because we’re helping people sort of that the scariest thing for people The unknown? Am I going to have enough money to live? Right? Am I going to be able to see my children? Okay, am I going to be able to have the same relationship with my children that I had before? So there’s all these sort of emotional parts that come from the unknown? And helping people through that is not easy. No. So, through collaborative, it does sort of help, because even though it’s not always easy as well, it, it’s managed by a team. And we help collectively counsel people to sort of stay in, in bounds, if you will. And that’s, that’s a much more pleasurable experience for the practitioner.

Martin H. 30:49
Right? Yeah, you know, one area of the law, it seems like when you’re paying the lawyer by the hour, or you pay anybody by the hour, it seems to me that their motivation sometimes is to drag out what, you know, a two hour project into 10. And it’s true law is true for hourly employees too. And, you know, their motivation is to drag it out, they’re going to drag it out. So I always call it attorney motivated obstruction,

George M. 31:18
you know, more, and I think we’re called to build each other up to our ethics requires us to, to be nice, if you will, right, to speak highly of each other. And to avoid the pitfalls. But, you know, what I also asked people to consider, you know, we talked about conflicts in law, and a conflict between our own clients and ourselves. And one thing I believe is inherent in family law, is, when you just mentioned when the practitioner, the lawyer, is billing hourly, which is what we do, we need to be paid for our services, we we sweat, bleed, cry over these cases, take

Martin H. 32:10
phone calls, at nine o’clock at night, Saturday mornings, whatnot, the whole nine

George M. 32:14
yards in so so I don’t undervalue that. But when we have that hourly rate that, like I said, I it’s appropriate, but when the first thing that we learned about a client is, is what their finances are, there’s a huge trust component there. So you know, so that trust, you know, should allow us to, even in the face of whatever we learn about our clients financials, to help sort of manage the situation and to be the, the, the professional in the room, that’s going to protect, not take advantage of that. There’s a almost as if it’s a fiduciary type of relationship. So but knowing that that’s one of the first things you get, as is the financial disclosure. You know, being able to sort of be careful with that is is important. Yeah, I agree

Martin H. 33:19
with that. And I see that, even in my own practice, when I get clients that come in, I’m like, Hey, listen, you know, I, for example, had a client to he was, he’s a surgeon, and he made this over a million dollars a year. He asked me, he’s like, can I go back to work? And I was like, and if you’re medically clear, get back to work isn’t good, because I have to generate $10,000 a day, right? And now as the lawyer, I was like, Well, if the longer you’re out, the more money I can claim later on as lost wages, and I can finally I can file a bigger claim. But I was like, No, I’m not going to tell you to go do that. I go back to work. It’s like when clients come to me and say, Hey, I need to have surgery. Or they told me I may need to have surgery. What do you think? My answer is always the same. I don’t want to know, you know what your decision is? I don’t want to be part of that process. I just want to tell you yes or no, there’s enough money. I’m never going to tell you do it. I’m not going to tell you don’t do it. I don’t know. So, you’re right. We have an ethical obligation. I say that because the only reason why the lawyer would tell you to go have surgery is because he wants to make more money. And I don’t want money. I don’t need your money. Right. And I think that’s something not talked about in our profession. Because there are the majority of the lawyers are like now I’ve been entrusted with this. I’m not going to take advantage of it.

George M. 34:48
I always felt like you and I are made out of the same cloth. Got to the same place and different routes. But you know, I’ve always known you Martin as someone who the community It comes to, and would appreciate that well, and what’s what’s so special is people come to you for many reasons. They know your personal injury, but there’ll be, you know, more and I’m dealing with this, you know, and, and that’s that that speaks volumes.

Martin H. 35:17
Well, thank you. Thank you. So what do you see some of the downfalls with with collaborative divorces?

George M. 35:25
So I haven’t really seen it firsthand what what people are afraid of, if you will. And this is really just an education. Okay. Because as you become more acquainted with something, whether it’s when things become demystified for you, then it’s more palatable, it’s more acceptable. That’s like, that’s, that’s everything in life, right. But but you’ll hear practitioners that will put it down, because first of all, they haven’t gotten trained. Right. And they don’t offer it.

Martin H. 36:08
I was just gonna say, it’s the biggest problem I’ve seen. When I talk to other lawyers about collaborative divorces, they really don’t know much about it.

George M. 36:16
Yeah. So obviously, how are you going to take a client who wants it if you don’t offer it? So there could be sort of a React knee jerk reaction to, to put it down? You’ll also hear people say, well, it’s far too expensive. And why would I? Why would I advise you sign up for a process where you could lose your lawyer? So I’ll explain that. Okay. One of the things that makes it collaborative in mind you, you know, we’ve got to practice groups in town, they’re wonderful. And they’ve been instrumental in passing, helping to create local rules. We’ve got sort of statewide sort of activist, if you will, that have helped to produce the statute that we have. So we got local rules, we got family rules of procedure that incorporate this. So it’s as legit as you can get, okay. But one of the things that does make it, you know, officially collaborative, is in that participation agreement that I first spoke of, there is a requirement to buy contract that if this thing falls apart, and it goes to litigation, that both parties need to get new lawyers.

Martin H. 37:38
Wow. So you basically, you and the other side of conflict to themselves out?

George M. 37:45
That’s one way of putting it. Absolutely. So it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a consent, if you will, that that there will be that withdraw, okay. Now, so some lawyers are gonna say, well, that’s insane. Well, it’s insane for who, right? I mean, you’re afraid of losing the client. Okay. And there goes that conflict. Okay. Again, the advice should be what’s best for the client, right? Not what’s best for you. So now, why I embraced that piece to this. And, and trust me, this has gone through numerous steps and countless sort of debates, and rewrites, if you will. Um, but why it’s, it’s it is embraced by the collaborative communities, and myself is, you know, this is one of the things that keep people to the table, it has a very high success rate. And people typically don’t want to lose their investment. Right. Now, their investment is monetary, emotional, the relationship with their lawyer, the person they trust, okay, so for so many reasons, and the thought of having to start over with somebody, for so many reasons. Sometimes we need that motivation to keep us to the table.

Martin H. 39:13
And I actually see exactly what you’re talking about. Because let’s say you’re going to talk about this in two different parts. Let’s say there are 10 issues. I’m just making that up. But let’s say there’s 10 issues, probably 100. But let’s say there’s 10. And my spouse, and I agree on nine, right? And that 10th One, we’re not that far apart. So that’s a scenario where you’re talking about like, Hey, listen, if we don’t agree on this number 10 You’re gonna go back to the drawing board, and I’m off the case in you may be spending a lot more money and time on that one issue. Is that right?

George M. 39:48
Yes. And, you know, we want to give it the credit that it’s do that withdrawal provision, because remember, it affects people equally All right. Okay. And if it blows up when you know, because they do every once in a while, okay, yeah, I haven’t had it myself. But if it does, then, you know, people have their own rights under the law in the next step of the case, okay. But for the vast, vast majority of the time, you know, when we have practitioners who are invested in the process, that withdrawal provision is, it’s golden, it’s very, it’s very valuable. And it’s an I don’t want to speak to it as a duress situation, because people have rights, still, we’ve got we’re not taking the rights away, we’re giving them the choice is if this is something you’re interested in, and you’re entering into it freely and voluntarily, okay, because you do like it, then they’re choosing to do it this way. And they’re choosing to even the playing field by having that which does affect them equally.

Martin H. 41:08
Let me ask you this. If we agree to the same scenario, and nine out of the template, that template one were so far apart, it’s never gonna happen. Could we agree on those nine and just litigate that 10th issue?

George M. 41:22
You can. Okay. And in so, you would be litigating that last piece? What new lawyers most likely,

Martin H. 41:32
alright. Okay. So just making sure that we didn’t start all over at zero? No, yeah,

George M. 41:36
no, yeah. And again, you know, we’re talking about right in your destiny here in a way. So there’s a lot of creativity of how you sort of get through the small eye of the needle, if you will. So. So. So sometimes we do have to, and there are other options in terms of other people that can make decisions for our case, as well.

Martin H. 42:02
Well, George, you know, thank you for coming on to the show and talk about collaborative law. Sure, an alternative to divorces in Florida, and something that’s unique and well accepted here in Hillsborough County. I thank you for coming on to the show. And thanks for tuning in to the get Lloyd up Martin Hernandez Personal Injury podcast, where we empower you to fight for your rights and claim the justice you deserve. Don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned for future episodes packed with gripping stories, expert advice and the legal know how to win your personal injury case. If you need a tenacious advocate in your corner, reach out to Martin Hernandez law firm at Martin Hernandez PA. Remember we won’t rest until justice is served drive safe, stay informed, buckle up and keep tuning fighting for what’s rightfully yours. George, if you can please give us your website and phone number in case anybody ever needs a lawyer for divorce. So our

George M. 42:59
phone numbers 813-280-0181. And my partner and I Shaun Donovan, we can be found at WWW dot dem tampa.com.

Martin H. 43:14
That’s Delta Mike Tampa. That’s correct. All right. D M Tampa law dem tampa.com I’m sorry, DM tampa.com. Well, until next time, this is attorney Martin Hernandez reminding you to get lawyered up now, thank you and good night.

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