Process: How it Works
Collaborative Team Process
Divorce and separation are parenting, financial, relational and legal events. To most effectively address this range of issues using a problem-solving rather than adversarial approach, Collaborative Practice includes representation by two lawyers and features multidisciplinary teams. Collaborative professionals include specially trained attorneys and a range of neutral professionals, including financial specialists, coaches, child specialists, family specialists and mediators. A professional team is built, case by case, matching the expertise of professionals to the specific needs of clients. Teams can be as small as two attorneys and as large as two attorneys plus three neutrals, based on client need and preference. Please click this link to learn more about the specific backgrounds of Collaborative professionals.
Voluntary and Out of Court Process.
Nobody can be court-ordered into Collaborative Process. Collaborative Process is done completely out of court, based on a document called a Participation Agreement signed by clients and their attorneys that disqualifies the attorneys from going to court. Neutrals on a team also ask clients to sign specific Participation Agreements for their services. The professional team is then able to focus on problem solving and reaching mutually agreeable resolutions rather than building a court case. If clients decide to leave Collaborative Process, their attorneys will assist them in finding court-based legal representation.
Respectful and Good Faith Process
Clients in a Collaborative Process are asked to participate in joint meetings with their attorneys and/or neutrals to make the legal decisions that will be written into their divorce decree, and to create their financial and parenting plans. An effective Collaborative Process requires transparent sharing of all relevant information. Collaborative Process is selected by clients who value a respectful process, and all team members including clients are asked to adhere to Expectations of Conduct that reinforce respectful communication in team meetings.
Who can benefit from Collaborative Practice?
Clients who value resolving conflicts in an atmosphere of respect and dignity.
Clients who need and expect to maintain an effective working relationship with each other after the separation or divorce. This includes parents, business partners and couples who will continue to both be part of extended family and friendship circles.
Clients who understand the value of working with professionals interested in helping them reach sustainable resolutions to meet the needs of all family members rather than winning a battle.
Clients who, though in conflict, are seeking equitable and sustainable resolutions to a painful life situation rather than vengeance, control or pay-back.
A La Carte Services
Collaborative professionals are expert at conflict resolution and problem solving. Each professional has the training and skill set to help clients with their specific needs in a divorce, separation or other matters, both inside and outside the context of full Collaborative Practice.
Learn more about A La Carte Services provided by Collaborative professionals.