Robert J. Merlin

Robert J. Merlin

Family Law Attorney

Known for helping clients reach a settlement or enter into agreements, Bob Merlin is committed to helping his clients to resolve divorces and other family law issues in the least adversarial ways possible.

Advocating for the best interests of the entire family, Bob applies his skills in the Collaborative Process, mediation, and direct negotiations to help his clients enter into agreements and without going to court.

Bob excels in managing complicated financial matters, including the valuation and division of property. When children are involved, he ensures that their needs and best interests are the highest priorities. Whether representing professionals, executives, athletes, or their spouses, Bob works best with clients looking for a private, mature, efficient way of divorcing that does not perpetuate destruction.

“My goal is to help divorcing and other family law clients make well-informed decisions so they experience a more efficient process and feel more in control over their futures.”

A Florida Bar Board Certified Family Law Specialist, Bob practices in the areas of divorce, timesharing of children and parenting plans, child support, alimony, paternity, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, and cohabitation/partnership agreements.

An experienced Collaborative attorney, Bob continually hones his skills in the Collaborative Process and trains other professionals how to become a Collaborative professional as he is. Bob has a long history of being involved in community organizations and taking leadership positions.

Bar Admissions

  • The Florida Bar, 1979
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and Trial Bar
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit


  • J.D. – University of Florida Levin College of Law & Mercer University School of Law, 1976 – 1978
    • Graduated with honors
  • Cambridge University & The Institute of Law – Polish Academy of Science, 1978
  • B.S. – University of Florida, 1976
    • Accounting

Professional Credentials

  • Board Certified in Marital and Family Law through The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education, 1994-Present
  • Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Court Mediator, 2011-Present
  • Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Accredited Collaborative Professional

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • The Florida Bar
    • Florida Bar Family Law Rules Committee Chair 2017-2018 and member since 2014
    • Family Law Section: Legislation Committee (2011-13), ADR Committee, Chair (2010-2013)
  • Dade County Bar Association, 1979 – Present
  • American Bar Association: member since 1979
    • Family Law Section and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Co-chair of Collaborative Law Section (2023-2024)
  • American Bar Association Foundation Fellow
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals – Treasurer 2019-2022 and Member of Board 2016-2022, member since 2008
  • Collaborative Family Law Institute – President, 2008 -2012
  • Collaborative Family Professionals of South Florida, member since 2010
  • Collaborative Professionals of Southwest Florida, member since 2020
  • South Palm Beach County Collaborative Law Group, member since creation
  • Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals – President 2021-2023, held various offices of committee chairmanships
  • First Family Law American Inn of Court
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Florida Chapter of Association of Family and Conciliation Courts; President – 2015-2016
  • Eleventh Circuit Court Parenting Coordinators Advisory Group
  • Advisory Board of the Center on Children and Families, University of Florida Levin College of Law
  • Frequent lecturer on Collaborative Family Law
  • University of Florida Levin College of Law Adjunct Professor of Collaborative Law, 2021 – present

Awards & Recognitions

  • Collaborative Family Law Institute Stu Webb Distinguished Service Award – 2012
  • 1998 Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court Ray H. Pearson Guardian Ad Litem Award
  • 2006 Dade County Bar Pro Bono Outstanding Firm Award
  • Leading Florida Attorneys in Family Law with the Network of Leading American Attorneys
  • Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent Family Law Attorneys
  • Top Lawyers in Florida – Florida Super Lawyers Magazine, since 2009
  • Florida Legal Elite – Florida Trend Magazine, since 2008
  • Top Lawyers in South Florida – South Florida Legal Guide Magazine, since 2003
  • AVVO superb rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell rating: AV
  • Greater Miami Jewish Federation Stanley C. Myers President’s Leadership Award, 1989
  • Greater Miami Jewish Federation Leadership Foundation, 2008


  • Blueprint for a More Effective Family Court Intake Process and Beyond: Opening the Umbrella to Process Family Court Cases, The Florida Bar Journal, December 2021
  • It is Time to Make Financial Affidavits and Other Documents Private in Family Matters, The Florida Bar Family Law Section Commentator, Vol 1, No. 1, Winter 2019
  • Contributing author to Building a Successful Collaborative Family Law Practice, (Adam Cordover with Forrest S. Mosten) ABA, 2018
  • The Collaborative Law Process Rules: This is How We Do It, The Florida Bar Journal, April 2018
  • The Collaborative Law Process Act: The Future Is Now, The Florida Bar Journal, April 2017
  • The Long and Winding Road to Implementing the Uniform Collaborative Law Act and Rules in Florida, The American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section Dispute Resolution Magazine, Vol 23, No. 2, Winter 2017
  • Collaborative Law Process Act Passes, The Florida Bar Family Law Section Commentator, Vol XXX, No. 1, Fall 2016
  • “Developing a Collaborative Family Law Practice,” Aspatore (2011)
  • “The Marital Home – Will It Come Back To Haunt You?” 67 Fla. Bar J. 62 (1993)

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Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals
IACP - International Association of Collaborative Professionals
CFLI - Collaborative Family Law Institute
Florida Collaborative Trainers