The other day I had the good fortune to speak to a very good friend of mine, Adam B. Cordover of The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A. Mr. Cordover is a very well respected Family Law attorney in the Bay area and the President of Next Generation Divorce. Our conversation was centered around my new mission, to educate clergy members of the existence of the Collaborative process. We had a very interesting conversation that included topics such as the realities of todays family dynamics, the secular family as well as the non-secular family. Both Mr. Cordover as well as myself accept that differences exist between the secular (non-religious) and non-secular (religious) families. I am grateful to Mr. Cordover for helping me gain a fuller understanding of certain non-secular distinctions and the sensitivities required in the pursuit of offering options to people and clergy of certain denominations or religious backgrounds. It goes without saying that The Melendez Law Office makes significant efforts to creates a safe haven for people of all faiths, genders and orientations. This includes constantly revisiting our actions, non actions as well as our thoughts. I value those friends like Mr. Cordover who share similar like mindedness and who also take care to create a similar environment in his office.
One of the thoughts that I had after my conversation with Mr. Cordover was that the road to equality and the road to a liberation from suffering is not always accomplished by taking the most apparent route. I find that people suffer and undergo great agony and pain because they don’t have the opportunity to create the options that they need. Nor do these people have the ability to seek such options. By understanding that there is more than one way through a problem, a person has taken the first step towards equality and liberation from suffering. Collaborative Divorce is not the simple way nor is it the easiest way to resolution, liberation and equality but it is a way that leads to those things. One way to fix ones situation is to simply try harder. By this I mean to try to repair the marriage. I pray for these people. This sometimes is a very hard task , an admiral path and one that I advise first and foremost. I however recognize that this is not always what people want nor is it something that is always possible. It truly takes two to make a marriage work but it only takes one to break a marriage. I can not criticize or judge those who simply can’t fix their marriage. Importantly I recognize that I also can’t ignore that by not promoting the Collaborative process and by not educating people and leaders that this process is an option, I am assisting to perpetuate a system where those who can’t make it work, those who have tried everything, those who need help and who are suffering will be destined to be left with a system that is at times inappropriate to assist the sensitivities of the families. I believe that it is my duty to promote this process for these people. I value cultural and religious differences as well as differences of gender and sexual orientation. After all, these are all people who need and deserve equal options and equal means to achieve relief from suffering. The challenge becomes, how do we offer these options to everyone and maintain sensitivity to everyone. Just as I believe the poor and the modest means should be able to elect the same options within the legal practice as the wealthy, so do I believe that all people, no matter what culture, faith, gender or orientation they should belong to, should also be able to elect the same options.
I call on those who know of clergy members or leaders in the community who can benefit from a presentation of the Collaborative Process as well leaders of communities who have historically shied away from topics such as dissolution of marriage who can benefit from an exploration of the benefits of the Collaborative Process. An introduction to any of these people would be much appreciated.
Special thanks to Adam Cordover who helped inspire my thoughts and who continues to be a great friend and advocate for equality and the Collaborative Process.
For more information, contact George A. Melendez of the Melendez Law Office, 813-280-0181.