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Sheldon E. Finman

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Family Law Attorney in Fort Myers, FL

Sheldon E. Finman, PA
PO Box 1380
Fort Myers, FL 33902
Phone: 239-332-4543
Fax: 239-334-7828
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2006, 2008 - 2012, 2015 - 2022
Licensed in Florida Since: 1971
Practice Areas: Family Law
Attorney Profile

Attorney Sheldon E. Finman is the founder of the Fort Myers law firm of Sheldon E. Finman, PA. Since 1979, Mr. Finman has focused his practice on helping his clients from Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples and surrounding Lee and Collier counties overcome their family law challenges as amicably as possible while ensuring the protection of their best interests.

Mr. Finman began his legal career in 1971 after earning his law degree from University of Florida Levin College of Law and his admission to The Florida Bar. Over the course of his career, he has watched the divorce process change from a process based on litigation to a process based on negotiation, and many of the changes are the result of his hard work over the past 40-plus years.

In 1983, Mr. Finman began exploring alternative dispute resolution methods he could use to help his clients negotiate divorce-related agreements. That year, thanks to his efforts, he became the first Florida Supreme Court-certified mediator in Lee County, Florida. In 1985, The Florida Bar recognized him as a board-certified marital and family law attorney.

In 1990, he worked with retired Florida Judge Hugh E. Starnes to create a process for cooperative divorces. The process the two developed was a precursor to today's collaborative divorce, which is a method Mr. Finman has utilized in his practice since 2000.

Attorney Finman's dedication to the preservation of families affected by divorce has led to much recognition from the legal community. He has received an AV-Preeminent* peer-review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Family Law Professionals in recognition of his place in history as the "Father of Cooperative Law."

*AV-Preeminent and BV-Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
  • 100%Family Law
Focus Areas

Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Dissolution, Divorce, Prenuptial Agreements, Marital Property, Mediation & Collaborative Law


14 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2006, 2008 - 2012, 2015 - 2022

Certificates and Credentials

About Sheldon E. Finman

First Admitted: 1971, Florida

Professional Webpage:

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator and Arbitrator
  • Florida Bar Board Certified Family Law Attorney
  • Marital and Family Law, Florida Bar Association, 1985

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • Divorce Mediation, Divorce Training in Problem Solving Procedures and Best Practices, Ancillary Businesses


  • Tau Epsilon Phi Fraternity
  • First Mediator of any Type in Lee County, Florida
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV
  • Bar Register of Pre-Eminent Lawyers
  • 2009 Professionalism Award by The Lee County Bar Association, December 19, 2009
  • Lifetime Achievement Award as the Father of Cooperative Law, The Association of Family Law Professionals, July 24, 2010
  • 1st Annual Career Contribution Award, by The Gainesville Collaborative Divorce Team and the University of Florida Institute, July 15, 2011
  • AFLP Second Annual Hugh E. Starnes "Think Outside the Box" award, 2010
  • University Hall of Fame, Who's Who in American Colleges & Universities, University of Florida

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Private Pro-Bono Client Work, 2000 - Present
  • Lee County Q&A Panel, 2005 - Present

Bar/Professional Activity

  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), Attorney/Mediator, 2004 - Present
  • Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida, Attorney/Mediator, 2009 - Present
  • Collaborative Professionals of Southwest Florida, Attorney/Mediator, 2009 - Present
  • Florida Bar Association, Family Law Section, Attorney, 1975 - Present
  • Academy of Family Mediators (AFM), Attorney/Mediator, 1984 - 2000
  • Florida Association of Families and Conciliation Courts, FLAFCC, 2000 - Present
  • Association of Families and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), Attorney/Mediator, 2000 - Present
  • Association of Family Law Professionals, Attorney, 1994 - Present
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1971
  • Florida, 1971

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • The Parenting Tribunal Panel (co-presented with Dr. Deborah C. Silver, Psy.D), State Dispute Resolution Center Annual Conference, August 30, 2008
  • A Cooperative Skills Workshop, The Florida Chapter of The Association of Florida and Conciliation Courts (FLAFCC), February 27, 2009
  • Parenting Plans, annual conference of The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), May 29, 2009
  • Child Focused Negotiation of Parenting Plan: "Through the Eyes of the Child" (co-presented with the Hon. Hugh E. Starnes, Retired Circuit Court Judge, Deborah C. Silver, Psy.D., and JoAnne Holt, CPA), Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Florida Chapter, March 12, 2010
  • Problem-Solving Divorce Procedures and Best Practices, Barry Law School, 2008 - 2010
  • Dangerous Times, Confessions, and Lessons Learned panel moderator, AFLP Annual Conference , June 11, 2010
  • Legal Issues, Parent Coordination Training (FL, Co-presented with the Hon. (Ret) Hugh E. Starnes, Sr., Circuit Judge), The Association of Family Law Professionals, June 24, 2010
  • The Anatomy of the Cost of Divorce: A Frank Discussion of Fees (co-presented by Shelly Finman, Esq. and Steve Thompson, Esq.), February 23, 2012
  • Skills Training Presentation, Charlotte County Family Law Bar Association, March 28, 2012
  • Being the Best You Can Be in Your Professional Role in Helping Families, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (FLAFCC Conference), March 30, 2012 - March 31, 2012
  • Advocacy in Collaborative Practice, Collaborative Professionals of Southwest Florida, April 5, 2012

Educational Background

  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, B.A., Major: English and Political Science, Florida Blue Key (Honorary), Omicron Delta Kappa (Honorary)
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Office Location for Sheldon E. Finman

PO Box 1380
Fort Myers, FL 33902

Phone: 239-332-4543

Fax: 239-334-7828

Last Updated: 2/9/2021

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