Collaborative divorce offers easier way to separate - WFLA News Channel 8

Collaborative divorce offers easier way to separate

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

For many couples, divorce can be difficult, expensive and embarrassing. Your dirty laundry is recorded in a court file and open to the public. And it can drag on and on. And on.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

Tyler and Pamela Nelson were officially divorced Friday in Hillsborough County Court, and they were smiling about as much as they did on their wedding day eight years ago.

"It was so simple, and we weren't fighting," Pamela Nelson said. "We didn't want to sue each other."

Tyler and Pamela have been separated for the past four of their eight years of marriage. They didn't divorce because every time one of them tried to start the process, they got intimidated and didn't follow through.

"It's really scary," Pamela Nelson said.

The couple also couldn't afford to fork over big bucks to get a divorce. So they went to Bay Area Legal Services for help and were selected for a collaborative divorce. Their attorneys offered to work for free. The Nelson's divorce is the first pro bono collaborative divorce in the state of Florida.

Attorneys Joryn Jenkins and Adam Cordover said they wanted to give back to the community and get the message out that there is a better way to divorce.

Unlike in most contested divorces, which can get downright nasty, this couple didn't even see a judge until they were ready for the final step. The whole process took less than two months.

Tyler Nelson says they didn't want to make the process more difficult on their young daughter.

"It's mainly about your children," he said. "it's not about what you guys had, it's about the kids."

Another benefit of collaborative divorce: your personal information stays private. That's why celebrities are increasingly turning to this type of divorce, Jenkins said.

Judge Laural Lee, who granted the Nelson's divorce, said it was refreshing to see a divorce that ended almost as happily as it began.

"In any case when a family has to go through a divorce, we hope to see the least amount of conflict as possible," Lee said. "And certainly for some families, collaborative divorce can be an excellent way to do that."



  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:49 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:49:59 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • NewsMore>>

  • Labor Day - more than just a day off

    Labor Day - more than just a day off

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:41:03 GMT
    While many people have the day off work, the day is actually meant to celebrate the achievements and contributions of American workers.
    While many people have the day off work, the day is actually meant to celebrate the achievements and contributions of American workers.
  • Two shot outside party in Tampa

    Two shot outside party in Tampa

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:59 AM EDT2014-09-01 07:59:20 GMT
    Two people have gunshot wounds after a shooting outside a party in Tampa early Sunday morning, Tampa police said. 
    Two people have gunshot wounds after a shooting outside a party in Tampa early Sunday morning, Tampa police said. 
  • Pilot dies in plane crash near downtown St. Pete

    Pilot dies in plane crash near downtown St. Pete

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:44 AM EDT2014-09-01 07:44:26 GMT
    Rescue boaters are on the scene of a downed banner plane near Albert Whitted Airport.Rescue boaters are on the scene of a downed banner plane near Albert Whitted Airport.
    The pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the water near Albert Whitted Airport has died, St. Petersburg police officials said. 
    The pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the water near Albert Whitted Airport has died, St. Petersburg police officials said. 

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.