The Team Approach to Collaborative Divorce
The Collaborative Divorce Process is an alternative to the combative process of litigation. A Collaborative divorce allows you to direct your divorce process, with support and professional assistance. It brings a collaborative team approach to the harsh and damaging process of a traditionally litigated divorce.
How do I get started finding a Collaborative Divorce Team?
First you should interview and select your attorney. Questions you might want to ask when interviewing a prospective attorney might include:
- How long have you been working with Collaborative cases?
- Do you continue to handle litigated cases?
- What benefits can be derived from using the Collaborative process instead of litigation?
- Have you worked with my spouse’s Collaborative attorney previously?
Once you and your spouse have selected your attorney’s they will discuss who they feel are the most qualified neutrals to participate. They likely will name a neutral certified divorce financial planner and a Collaborative facilitator. You will be encouraged to call and /or meet with these professionals and give feedback to your attorney’s regarding your willingness to work with those selected. If you feel that you cannot work with one of the neutrals selected, another will be chosen.
Your Collaborative team will help you and your spouse reach a fair and mutually acceptable resolution to your divorce, in a manner that affirms whatever relationship you and your spouse desire for the future.
Your attorney will provide legal advice, answer your questions and help you make important decisions regarding your children and your finances.
The financial neutral will assist you and your spouse to restructure your finances in order to maintain separate households. She/ he will advise you on potential tax consequences for various division of asset scenarios, advise you on how to split your retirement accounts, and what your future financial situation will look like.
Without assistance your emotions may direct your entire process in unwanted directions. Your Collaborative facilitator will help you manage the emotional load imposed by the divorce process and help you stay focused on your needs and goals. The facilitator will work with you and your spouse to prepare the draft of your parenting plan.
If needed, a child specialist can assist in the parenting plan; a collaboratively trained real estate specialist can assist with home purchase or sale. Other professionals can be consulted, as needed.
What is needs-based?
Collaborative divorce is a needs-based process focused on creative problem-solving, rather than positional bargaining. This is quite different than litigation where there may be a duplication of experts with opposite opinions. All professionals on your collaborative team are experienced in non-adversarial conflict resolution and non-adversarial communication.
What That Means to You
Every couple, and every divorce, is unique. The Collaborative process provides individualized solutions for your family to divorce with integrity and to be effective co-parents, when your divorce is completed.
No one cares more about your future, your family, and your finances, than you do. You can proceed with confidence through the process with support from your professional team.