The Collaborative Divorce process is a way to address the issues arising out of a divorce proceeding without the traditional litigation model.  The Collaborative Process uses a team approach to help the parties reach a settlement agreement without the need to go to court.  The team consists of each party’s attorneys, a neutral financial advisor, and a mental health provider if needed.

In the traditional divorce litigation, much time is spent in financial discovery trying to determine the parties’ finances.  Working with a neutral financial advisor, as a team, helps the parties reach a prompt settlement agreement.

Likewise, when there are significant custody disputes, working with a neutral mental health provider as a team helps the parties reach a settlement agreement that is in their children’s best interest.


The Collaborative divorce process is voluntary and both parties must enter into a participation agreement agreeing to participate in settlement discussions with the help of the neutral third parties.

In the event that the parties are unable to reach a settlement agreement, the collaborative divorce counsel will withdraw from the case allowing the parties to retain counsel to proceed with the litigation.

In summary, the Collaborative Divorce Process will reduce the hard feelings between the parties, which will help reduce the process time and will help reduce the attorney’s fees and costs.

For further information contact our office for a free initial consultation.

Step Parent Adoption - Miami

Step Parent Adoption

Often the parent of a minor child remarries and is considering whether the step parent can legally adopt the child.

In Florida a step parent adoption is available provided the Child’s biological parent executes a proper Consent to the child’s adoption and a clear waiver of the parental rights over the child. For the Consent to be valid it must meet the statutory requirements, must be willingly signed, and must not be revoked within the statutory period. Once these requirements are met the consent is valid and the Step Parent adoption can proceed.

Since the biological parent has consented to the adoption and has waived his parental rights over the child there is no need for a hearing on the termination of parental rights and only the hearing on the adoption is required. Moreover, step parent adoption does not require a home study, significantly reducing the length of the process.

The step parent will need to appear in court to present evidence of the relationship with the child, the ability to continue to support the child and the understanding that the adoption process is irrevocable.

It is important to remember that if the child is older than (12) years of age the child must consent to the adoption.

Our office has represented numerous step parent adoptions in Florida and will be able to answer any questions you may have about the adoption process.

Maria T. Sallato

Board Certified Attorney in Family Law


4 Year long Divorce Trial

Just closed a 4 year long divorce including two trials and two appeals. After a three day trial, the trial court awarded my client, the Wife, an unequal distribution of the marital estate in the form of the Husband’s share of the marital home. The trial court also made a finding that her use of the Husbands 401 K funds was not a dissipation of assets. On appeal the appeals court affirmed. Not happy with the result, the Husband filed essentially the same claim for dissipation of assets in civil court alleging breach of fiduciary duty. After a hearing, the Civil Court dismissed his claim under principles of res judicata. Again the Husband appealed the dismissal. Today we received the Mandate affirming the civil court.

Maria Sallato Wins Child Abduction Case

As a result of a three-day trial in front of the Honorable Judge Federico Moreno, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Attorney Maria T. Sallato, board certified in Family Law, successfully obtained the return of a three year old child to Canada, under the terms of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Abduction. Final judgment was entered on August 31, 2017, Case No. 17-cv-20745-FAM.

( Florida bar – The International Law Gazette – 09-18-2017)

Welcome to the blog of Maria Teresa Sallato

During the last twenty-three, Maria Teresa Sallato, has dedicated her practice to complex family law cases and international child abductions cases under the Hague Convention.

Of particular importance to her practice is her ability to negotiate a settlement in order to minimize litigation costs as an experienced Florida Supreme Court certified family mediator.


El tratado de la Haya

El Tratado de la Haya para el retorno de los Niños sustraídos de Colombia ha Sido FIRMADO por 62 countries, incluido Colombia, Con El Propósito de Prevenir el problema mundial de robo internacional de Niños.

El Tratado se aplic en aquellas Situaciones en que unNiño es sustraído de Colombia sin el Consentimiento de UNO de los Dos Padres. Un Caso típico Para La Aplicación del TRATADO ES CUANDO Los Padres de Menor, los cuales pueden estan teniendo Problemas de custodia, el padre o la Madre deciden llevarse al Menor a Vivir un pecado los estados unidos el Consentimiento del otro. Bajo el Tratado de la Haya el servicio debe Menor regresado a Colombia, para permitir que las cortes de familia de Colombia determinen los Mejores Intereses del Niño. Read more


Did you know that under The Hague Convention related to International Child Abduction a child may not have to be returned to the country of origin even if the parent wrongfully removed the child after explicit orders from the Court not to remove the child? Under Article 13 of the Convention, a child removed from his country, in violation of court orders not to so, may not be ordered returned to his country of habitual residence, if there is a grave risk that his or her return would expose the child to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation. The exception requires proof of significant abuse to the child or to the parent by the other parents This exception applies to all signatory countries, such as England, Australia, and Ecuador, to name a few. For more information call Maria T. Sallato, Esq. at: Sallato & Associates. P.A. 9990 SW 77th Avenue, Penthouse 12 Miami, Florida 33156 (305) 598-9600

What is Collaborative Law?

The traditional way of getting a divorce is to involve the court system from the beginning. Each party takes a position as to what he or she wants from the outset. Read more


The convention stems from the response of 62 sovereign nations to the global problem of international child abduction. The overriding objective is to spare children the detrimental emotional effects associated with transnational parental kidnaping. Read more