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The Divorce Process

Understanding Your Options

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Collaborative Divorce

About This Method

Collaborative divorce attorneys are trained in both mediation and collaborative skills to represent their clients. All four of you will meet, gather information and negotiate. The parties and attorneys must be invested in the process. If a settlement cannot be reached through the collaborative method both attorneys must withdraw from the case, and each spouse must retain a new attorney to take them through the process of resolving their divorce in litigation. Parties working collaboratively must be committed to finding resolutions that address the well-being of all involved. Collaborative attorneys act as their client’s advocate but are also looking for solutions that work for both parties. When agreement is reached, collaborative attorneys will submit the settlement to the court.

A Supportive Team

Part of the collaborative divorce model includes assembling a team of professionals to support you as you work through your divorce and plan for a new future. You and your spouse may choose to also work with divorce coaches who are mental health professionals, a financial consultant and a child specialist, depending on the specific situation and needs.

Role of a Collaborative Coach

The emotions involved in a divorce can be obstacles to moving forward in the decision making process. Coaches (trained mental health professionals) assist parties in managing the emotional aspects of the divorce and in developing effective communication skills. When children are involved, coaches assist in developing a workable parenting plan.

Role of a Child Specialist

Understanding the perspective and needs of the children can be helpful to parties in formulating an effective parenting plan. A Child Specialist (trained mental health professional) can bring the child’s perspective and needs into the negotiation room. The Child Specialist provides the children the opportunity to share their feelings and concerns in a safe and supportive environment. With expertise in children’s developmental and emotional issues, the Child Specialist assists parents in resolving the issues surrounding their children in a manner that is tailored to their unique situation.

Neutral Financial Specialist

Divorce can involve complex financial issues. The neutral financial specialist helps couples to understand and consider their current finances and helps them evaluate in detail various financial options for settlement. Business valuations, after tax value of assets and before and after tax cash flow analysis are some of the services that can be provided by the financial neutral in assisting couples to evaluate their options and reach agreements.

Considerations

  • The collaborative divorce method approaches divorces in a problem- solving manner, and provides for an attorney’s assistance to each party throughout the entire process.
  • Parties retain control of custody, support and financial decisions, and are less likely to experience stress, fighting and emotional battles than in a traditional adversarial divorce.
  • Preserving the emotional health of children and of the parenting relationship is a focus.
  • Parties retain control over the timing and of the cost.
  • Appropriate even in complex emotional and financial situations.

How do I know if collaborative divorce is right for me?

Divorce involves legal, financial, and strong emotional issues. If you are interested in a settlement process that provides professional assistance in each of these aspects of your divorce, with a commitment to working towards a resolution that works for you, your spouse, and your children, then collaborative divorce should be considered. Collaborative divorce can be effective in both simple and complex situations.

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