At the Law Offices of Robert J. Merlin, P.A., we are passionate about helping our clients to successfully resolve their family disputes and to favorably position themselves for the future. Through compassionate understanding, education, and a focus on out-of-court settlements, Robert J. Merlin and his associate and staff help guide clients through the complex areas of divorce, paternity, prenuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements and similar family matters.
Robert J. Merlin is very experienced in several methods of dispute resolution – Collaborative Practice, mediation, direct negotiations, and litigation. Bob is a Florida Bar Board Certified Family Law Specialist, a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and has received a significant amount of special, advanced training in the Collaborative Law Process and other areas that enable him to better assist our clients.
Our experience in family law enables us to bring problem-solving skills to each case. We brainstorm with clients and offer creative alternatives to our client and the other spouse or parent, sometimes suggesting options that no one else thought of, but which will serve everyone’s best interests. Also, Bob draws on his education and background in accounting and his many years of experience in family law to understand financial issues so he can help resolve those issues in ways that provide long-term value to our clients in ways that the majority of family attorneys cannot.
We no longer litigate cases for our clients because we feel that litigation should be a last resort for families, something that usually is not in the family’s best interest. The litigation process can be so destructive, expensive and time-consuming that we choose to serve our clients with more positive, constructive dispute resolution approaches. Statistically, less than 10% of family matters go to trial, so there is an extremely high likelihood that the matter will be settled. Our philosophy is that we should help our client get to that settlement as quickly as possible, thereby minimizing the cost in time and money to our client. The attorneys of Robert J. Merlin, P.A. have the skills to help our clients resolve their matters outside of court without going to battle with their spouse or the other parent of their child and without fighting with the other attorney. We strongly believe that avoiding the stress, cost, time delay and risk of litigation is in the best interest of our clients, especially when children are involved. We also believe that our clients are best served by controlling their own futures rather than empowering a judge to determine their future and the future of their children.
We welcome prospective clients to meet with us during an initial consultation, for which there is a reasonable charge. We will spend between one and two hours discussing the facts of the case, the applicable law, the client’s rights and obligations, the different processes that are available and our recommendations for a course of action. At that time, we will also discuss the anticipated cost of our representation and our fee arrangement. If the client and we jointly decide to proceed with our representation, we will enter into a formal service agreement that sets forth the financial terms of our representation.
Bob Merlin is one of the most experienced Collaborative Law attorneys in Florida, and uses the Collaborative Process to help clients with a wide range of family issues, including divorces, paternity matters and the negotiation of Prenuptial Agreements. His dedication to ongoing training and his long-term involvement in the passage of the Florida Collaborative Law Process Act and rules, including being one of the drafters of the statute and rules, have made him the ‘go-to’ resource for other Collaborative professionals in Florida and in the United States. Clients who work with Bob as their Collaborative lawyer gain the benefits of his considerable expertise in this humane, problem-solving, and non-adversarial way of divorcing and resolving parenting disputes in paternity matters. When our clients reach a settlement, they will likely feel better emotionally and financially than if they had chosen to handle their matter in a different way.
We know that decisions made regarding family law matters before and after a marriage or between a couple who is not married can affect family members for a lifetime, especially children. That is why the attorneys at the law offices of Robert J. Merlin, P.A. offer a variety of dispute resolution options in family law, including the Collaborative Process, mediation and direct settlement negotiations.
Every situation is different, but at the law offices of Robert J. Merlin, P.A., families always come first. Our focus is on our client’s best interests and we are committed to making a positive difference in our client’s life.