Collaborative divorce offers easier way to separate - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

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>>

  • Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:35 GMT
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:49 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.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Pasco County couple survive a week adrift at sea

    Pasco County couple survive a week adrift at sea

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:17 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:17:17 GMT
    A Pasco county couple is recovering after spending a week adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. They were trapped 80 miles off shore without any food and very little water for seven days.
    A Pasco county couple is recovering after spending a week adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. They were trapped 80 miles off shore without any food and very little water for seven days.
  • Palm Harbor strip club hit & run victim makes plea

    Palm Harbor strip club hit & run victim makes plea

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:33:46 GMT
    New video shows the violent incident early Friday morning, outside "Silks" strip club on US 19 in Palm Harbor. Bouncer Doug Berube and the club DJ. wanted to talk to a guy in a car about an earlier incident. The driver shoved it in reverse, hit the gas, and backed over Berube. He has a plea for the driver....
    New video shows the violent incident early Friday morning, outside "Silks" strip club on US 19 in Palm Harbor. Bouncer Doug Berube and the club DJ. wanted to talk to a guy in a car about an earlier incident. The driver shoved it in reverse, hit the gas, and backed over Berube. He has a plea for the driver....
  • Land O' Lakes man: troopers saved my life

    Land O' Lakes man: troopers saved my life

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:51 GMT
    A Pasco County man credits two Florida Highway Patrol troopers with saving his life. A Pasco County man credits two Florida Highway Patrol troopers with saving his life.
    Chris Henry calls two Florida Highway Patrol Troopers heroes. He believes they saved his life.
    Chris Henry calls two Florida Highway Patrol Troopers heroes. He believes they saved his life.
  • 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

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

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