O'Day Resolutions

O'Day Resolutions is dedicated to assisting families transitioning through divorce or separation with minimal conflict. Sharon O'Day is a Board Certified Marital & Family Attorney with special training in Family Mediation and Collaborative Law.

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Firm Overview

O'Day Resolution was established in 2012 to assist families in the areas of divorce, paternity, custody, child support, alimony, division of assets, relocation, and modification of prior judgments of divorce. After many years of representing client in the family court system, I understand that divorce can be a traumatic and stressful time. O'Day Resolutions is dedicated to assisting parties through the process while respecting their ability to make choices that are right for their family. Using the alternative dispute resolution processes of Collaborative Law and Mediation, I assist families to develop agreements that resolve the issues of their case without litigation. I am able to assist my clients while avoiding the high cost of a contested divorce.

I offer services including family and divorce mediations, parent coordination for the development and implementation of parenting plans, elder mediation to assist families to find appropriate transitions as parents age, trainings and coaching on negotiations & conflict resolution, and mediations related to educational and workplace conflict.

For couples that desire an amicable divorce, I can assist with mediation services that will allow the couple to reach an agreement and proceed to an uncontested divorce much faster and with less stress than a traditional contested divorce proceeding. Even in cases where there may be disagreement about the resolution of specific issues, if the parties are committed to work through the process without litigation they can often reach agreement with assistance from a skilled mediator. Mediation is a confidential process that allows the parties to negotiate in a private manner. When an agreement is reached I work to assist the parties to develop an effective Marital Settlement Agreement, Parenting Plan and other documents necessary to secure a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.

Collaborative Law is a process that allows the parties in a legal dispute to work cooperatively to reach a resolution while working closely with properly trained collaborative attorneys to ensure that each party understands their rights and the ramifications of any agreements reached. The collaborative process begins when the parties and the attorneys all enter into a Participation Agreement that provides that all members of the team are committed to resolving the matter without litigation or court intervention. Collaborative Law has many of the same advantages as mediation, providing for a confidential and creative solution in a less expensive and less emotionally harmful manner.

If you are considering hiring a Collaborative Attorney or Family Mediator, ensure that they are received the specific training to effectively assist you with your case. I am Board Certified in Marital & Family Law. I am Florida Supreme Court Certified in Family & Civil Mediation and I am Qualified in Parenting Coordination.
Main Office

Main Office
4205 St. Clair Drive
Sarasota  FL  34243

Phone
  • (941) 228-8571

Office Information

Office Hours

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Office Manager

Sharon O'Day

Languages Spoken

English, Conversational Spanish

Divorce
O'Day Resolutions is a Family Law practice specializing in assisting parties through divorce while minimizing the conflict and therefor the stress, time and cost of the divorce process. We do this through Mediation and Collaborative Representation.
O'Day Resolutions was formed in 2012 to assist parties through the divorce transition without litigation. After years litigating divorce for clients, I know that this process takes too long, is too costly and increases the conflict and stress of divorce. This does not have to be the case. I have helped many people with their divorce, custody issues, paternity, support issues, relocation and modification of divorce judgments without the need for litigation. I assist my clients by means of Collaborative Law and Mediation.

Collaborative Law is the process whereby each party hires a specially trained collaborative attorney to represent them. The parties and the attorneys then sign a Participation Agreement that defines their commitment to the process. The attorneys then work as a team with the parties to find a resolution to the case without resorting to litigation. If either party has already filed for divorce prior to entering the Collaborative Process then the case is put on hold while the parties attempt to reach a resolution. A neutral financial professional may be engaged to assist the parties with addressing any financial issues the case may have. This reduces the costs of each side having their own attorneys or accountants preparing financial discovery and then disputing the financial issues. The team may also engage a mental health expert to assist the parties through the transition and to address any issues related to the minor children and parenting plan. Again this removes the cost of a custody dispute from the case. If you are considering a collaborative divorce make sure that your attorney has received special training in collaborative law as well as conflict resolution. I have completed all trainings in this area and have successfully represented clients in collaborative cases.

Through Mediation I assist parties that wish to work together to reach an agreement. I received my Supreme Court Certification as a Family Mediator in 2006. As a mediator I work with both parties, not as an attorney but as a neutral facilitator to develop a settlement agreement. If there are minor children involved in the case I also help the parties develop a parenting plan for court approval. Once an agreement is reached I prepare the agreement and all documents necessary for presentation of an uncontested case to the Court. Mediation is a voluntary process whereby the parties make the decisions that are right for their family. This gives the parties control over their case and how their family will be structured after the divorce.

As a Qualified Parenting Coordinator I have worked with many high conflict families and have seen how destructive the conflict of divorce can be to the children. Many studies have found that it is not the process of divorce but rather the conflict in a family that causes stress and problems for minor children. By electing to use a Collaborative Process or Mediation you are placing the needs of your children first and keeping control over your families outcome.

In addition, much of the expense of divorce is involved in preparing for and participating in litigation. Our court system is overwhelmed with cases causing long delays in obtaining hearing time and trial dates. This delay causes families to live in limbo awaiting a Judge's decision. In addition, the case must be prepared for trial with motions for temporary relief, hearings for discovery disputes and time spent in depositions. All of this causes the costs of litigated divorce to become too much for many families. By using the alternative dispute resolution options of collaborative law or mediation you avoid the stress and expense of litigation and are able to transition your family structure in a more peaceful manner.
Divorce Mediation
Family Mediation provide the parties an opportunity to reach an agreement that best meets the needs of the parties and their children without resorting to litigation.
Mediation is a voluntary process that allows the parties to come together to reach an agreement that best meets the needs of the family. The parties, rather than a judge, make decisions that will resolve their issues including division of their assets and liabilities, the appropriate time sharing schedule for their minor children, and support issues for the children and the parties. Often judges are constrained by what the law allows them to order in specific cases. However, the parties may reach an agreement that is different than what the law provides, such as parents that decide to include support for children through college or payment of private school.

Mediation is also a confidential process. A litigated divorce is a public process. All court records are made public and hearings are also not confidential. However, the mediation process is confidential to allow the parties to freely negotiate without the fear of public exposure. If the parties are represented by counsel then their attorneys may attend the mediation. Others are not allowed to attend the mediation unless the parties agree. Only the final agreement is presented to the court.

Mediation also allows the parties to resolve the case in a much more timely manner. There is no need to wait for the Court to have available hearing times or trail dates. The parties can meet with the mediator as often and for as long as they need to resolve the issues of their case. Often I will meet with the parties to develop the agenda for the mediation but we then take a break to allow the parties to research issues and develop the knowledge they need to reach an agreement regarding division of assets or a parenting plan. Many families are able to resolve their case and finalize their agreement with just a few meetings. Other more complicated cases may require additional sessions to resolve all of the issues of their case.

Once an agreement is reached it is drafted and provided to the parties for review. When all issues have been resolved then the agreement is executed and the parties are provided all forms necessary to finalize their dissolution of marriage.

Mediation is also effective in cases of paternity, separation, modification of prior divorce orders and relocation of a parent. In any situation where the parties wish to resolve conflict without litigation mediation is an appropriate dispute resolution alternative.
Collaborative Divorce
When the parties have decided that they wish to resolve their divorce without resorting to litigation, but the case is too complicated to resolve with simple mediation, Collaborative Law is an appropriate alternative.
Collaborative Law is a process that allows the parties to resolve their divorce, paternity or other family case without litigation. Collaborative Divorce allows the parties to have complete control over their divorce and find resolutions to the issues that best suit their family. It is also a process that puts the needs of the parties and their children first. It does demand that the parties be willing to be honest and respectful throughout the process but there is a team approach by the professionals that makes this much easier than it may sound at first.

Each party hires a specially trained collaborative attorney. The attorneys and the parties then sign a Participation Agreement which provides the details of the collaborative process. The attorneys each agree that if the case cannot be resolved through the negotiated settlement then they will withdraw. This increases the attorneys' motivation to work with the parties towards resolution rather than litigation. The attorneys can then focus all of their attention on a negotiated settlement rather than having to prepare for trial just in case negotiations fail.

The attorneys require special training to understand the process and have a "paradigm shift" away from their traditional litigation role to a collaborative advocacy role. The attorneys then work with their client to ensure that the process remains fair and honest and on track for resolution.

The team is then assisted by a neutral facilitator to act as a coach and keep the process moving forward. This facilitator is often a mental health professional with special training in conflict resolution and special training in parenting issues. The parties can then work with the facilitator on the parenting issues, often resolving these issues with limited attorney involvement. Thus the parenting issues may be resolved at a much lower cost than a contested custody case.

The final member of the team is often a neutral financial professional who works together with the parties to determine the financial situation of the family and develop equitable distribution spreadsheets and support calculations. Again, this process would often be done by the lawyers and independent financial professionals for each side, so the idea of having only one professional for the team is an enormous cost savings.

The Collaborative case may be a very streamlined process in some situations or it may be more complicated, depending upon the issues of each case.

I understand that divorce is an emotional process with financial and legal implications. By selecting the Collaborative Law process you can make the choice to limit the negative effects of the divorce for yourself and your children.

What experience or education distinguishes your lawyers from others

I am Florida Board Certified in Marital and Family Law. Board certification recognizes an attorneys’ special knowledge, skills and proficiency in Family Law and professionalism and ethics in practice. Less than 7% of attorneys in Florida have attained Board Certified status. As a Board Certified Attorney I have represented clients in all aspects of Marital and Family Law. In 2012 I made the professional decision to limit my practice to assisting clients in resolving their divorce or other family matter without litigation.

I received my Supreme Court Certified Family Mediation in 2006. This requires additional training in conflict resolution, communication and mediation skills. As a mediator I work with the parties as a neutral facilitator to help them reach a resolution to their case without litigation. I have worked with hundreds of families through the mediation process. Mediation allows the parties to keep control over the decisions that will affect their family.

I have also completed special training in Collaborative Law. This is a fairly new form of conflict resolution. While the process is more formal than mediation, it is appropriate for many families that have more complicated issues or who have more difficulty in reaching an agreement. For Collaborative Law each party has their own trained attorney to represent them and the attorneys and the parties all sign an agreement to resolve the case without litigation. The attorneys are committed to the process because they will not continue to represent a client if the parties terminate the collaborative process. This allows the attorneys to focus all of their professional energies on finding resolution to the case without litigation. The attorneys and parties also work with a neutral mental health expert to develop appropriate parenting plans and resolve parenting issues. If necessary the team will also work with a neutral financial professional to address financial issues in the case. This team approach actually lowers the overall cost of the case as there is no court battle with each side presenting their own experts to influence the court.

I am also a Qualified Parenting Coordinator. In this capacity I work with High Conflict Parents to help them understand the impact of conflict on their minor children. In the Parenting Coordination process I work with the parents to learn better communication and conflict resolution skills. I also introduce resources to help the parties co-parent their children without conflict. I know that it is conflict and not the actual divorce that causes trauma and stress for minor children. I help the families lower the conflict and therefore have better outcomes for the children.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

O'Day Resolutions is committed to assisting families find ways to transition through divorce or separation without litigation.

Sharon O'Day

As the owner of O'Day Resolutions I have dedicated my professional practice to helping families through transition. I know, from years of practice and life experience, that family transitions can be hard. Whether you are dealing with a divorce, relocation of a parent, or single parenting, developing a new family dynamic and meeting everyone's needs is difficult. Everyone deals with these changes differently and this often brings about conflict and disagreements.

Resolving these conflicts through the court system is expensive and stressful. As a Board Certified Attorney I have seen families completely deplete their life savings and go into debt to bring their cases to Court. Unfortunately, the results of all of this stress and expense are not what my client's thought they would achieve. The Judges are then faced with picking the lesser of two evils rather than seeing the best for everyone involved. This only perpetuates the conflict. This is because our court system is based upon a win-lose paradigm. The parties must each tear down the other side in order to try to win some gain in front of the judge. As zealous advocates of their client's position, the attorneys are also caught in the dynamic of the conflict and only exacerbate the disagreements. In 2012 I chose to no longer participate in this dynamic because I know it does not yield the best results for my clients.
As a Family and Civil Certified Mediator, I work with families to resolve conflict without litigation. As the mediator I am a neutral professional, exploring options that will meet the needs and interests of the parties and their children. We work as a team to seek win-win solutions whenever possible. We can address the underlying interests of the members of the family without seeking to destroy anyone. Mediation is appropriate for all issues that affect the family structure such as divorce, paternity, changes to the parenting structure, and support. As an attorney mediator I am extremely qualified to assist the parties in drafting the final agreement that will meet their needs, resolve the conflict and be appropriate to be entered into a Final Judgment by the Court if necessary.
I am also a Board Certified Marital and Family Attorney. This is the highest qualification an attorney can obtain in Florida and it means that I am an expert in the areas of family law. I am also specially trained and qualified in the area of Collaborative Law and have dedicated my individual representation of clients to the area of Collaborative Practice. This means that I work with my clients to avoid litigation and resolve their case through negotiations. As a member of a collaborative team, either as an attorney or as the facilitator of the case, I help the parties work towards a resolution of their case without the expense and stress of a trial.
I am also a Parenting Coordinator for the Sarasota and Bradenton area. In this role I work with High Conflict Parents to develop a co-parenting structure that will work best for the children of divorce. It has been well established that high conflict between the parents during or after a divorce is seriously detrimental to the children. As the Parenting Coordinator I work with the parents to establish a new structure that looks at the best interest of the children first. The parents must first disengage from the conflict and begin to parallel parent in order to place their children's needs above their own hostilities that resulted from the divorce.

I was born and raised in Ellicott City, Maryland. I graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Economics and then graduated from George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC in 1987. I was licensed to practice law in Maryland in that same year. At that time I worked for several non-profit organizations helping Refugees in the Washington, DC area. Following this I worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees out of Geneva, Switzerland. With the High Commissioner I was a Protection Officer, acting as the liaison between the refugee populations and the governments in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Croatia, Bosnia, Uganda and Mozambique. In this position I often worked with the refugees fleeing war zones to have a safe place in their countries of refuge. Negotiations and communication were key elements of this job, particularly in an international context.
Following eight years years traveling the world and working in some of the highest conflict situations of the 1990s I returned to the United States and settled with my daughter in Sarasota, Florida. I was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2001 and opened my own practice in that same year. My practice focused exclusively on Family issues such as divorce and estate planning.
I live in lovely Sarasota, Florida with my family. In my free time I still love to travel and explore the world.
License
  • Bar Number: 0415472
    Florida , 2000
  • Bar Number: in active
    Maryland , 1987
Education
  • George Washington University Law School
    JD , 1987
  • University of Maryland
    BA , 1983
    Double Major in Government & Politics and Econmics

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