Fort Lauderdale Board Certified Marital & Family Lawyers
Curtis R. Cowan and Michael Gilden represent divorcing couples and parents in all aspects of Florida divorce and family law. Based in Fort Lauderdale, our practice serves men and women (and the best interests of their children) in Palm Beach and Broward counties. Call us today for more information about our philosophy of practice and how we can help you come to an amicable agreement or assert your rights in litigation.
Therapeutic Jurisprudence – A More Reflective Legal System
It’s said that justice is blind, meaning that its decisions are impartial. But in the cold application of statutes, justice can be blind and deaf, indifferent to its unintended consequences. A judge’s ruling can be legally sound yet create emotional distress, psychological harm, logistical problems, or financial hardship. As your attorneys, and an adherent of therapeutic jurisprudence, we take a more holistic, “big picture” approach.
We believe, first of all, that clients are better off when they can put aside emotions and come to an out-of-court agreement in divorce and family law matters. In many proceedings before a family court judge, the affected parties have little input and even less control over the outcome.
The idea of therapeutic jurisprudence is to step back and consider the impact of the law – in custody decisions, divorce decrees, financial support – before signing agreements or asking a judge to rule. We aim to bring more foresight and compassion into the legal process, and to downplay the adversarial tendency of family issues. We often involve psychologists, legal advocates for children, and other professionals to examine the psychological and emotional aspects of family law decisions. The quality of post-divorce relationships is enhanced when all parties’ concerns are addressed on the front end. Future disagreements are more likely to be resolved by the parties without resorting to court intervention.
It’s a fact: 40-50% of marriages end in divorce. That’s one out of every two. If you find yourself in this unfortunate predicament, be assured you are not alone. However, divorce can be a time filled with stress, worry, uncertainty, anger, guilt…every emotion possible. You have a lot of decisions to make, the outcome of which will affect you for the rest of your life.
After all, getting married is fun and easy: You visit the courthouse at your convenience, pay a small fee, read a pamphlet, sign some papers, and the clerk’s office will sell you a marriage license. Then you find a priest, pastor, rabbi or a notary public to make it legal. Of course, making babies is fun! But you have to keep in mind that both marriage and parenthood each comes with its own set of rights and obligations.
Getting divorced is another story. Not nearly so much fun and not nearly so easy. When both you and your spouse put aside emotions and act reasonable, most divorces can be obtained quickly and affordably, without a fight. Or you can disagree, fight, haggle, and torment each other, taking yourselves through an expensive and emotionally taxing court proceeding that can take months, or even years. In Florida divorce law is not simple. Sure, if you have no children, you can pick up a “Do-it-Yourself” kit or take your case to a document preparation service. Then you visit that same court clerk who will take those papers (along with a filing fee) and assign you a case number and a judge. It’s that judge who must sign your final judgment of dissolution (the divorce decree) to make it official. And you can’t just drop in at the courthouse on your morning break and wait for it, like you did your marriage license. There is a process; specific laws, detailed rules and court procedures to follow. But you’re still on your own, and you cannot be assured that all of your rights have been protected.
To avoid the hassles, protect your rights, and make things as easy on yourself as possible, you need the services of attorneys experienced in the field of Marital and Family Law. That’s where we come in.
Effective, Cost-Conscious, and Compassionate Legal Advocacy
Curtis R. Cowan and Michael Gilden strive to be accessible and approachable as certified marital and family lawyers, but have the courtroom experience to protect your interests in litigation. Contact our Fort Lauderdale office today at (954) 525-4100 to discuss your situation in the context of therapeutic jurisprudence. We offer an affordable reduced-rate consultation fee.