Everyone has heard horror stories about people going through a divorce that left them either emotionally distraught, financially ruined, or with children who won’t speak to them.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
The Collaborative Divorce Process is based on three principles:
- A pledge to resolve issues without going to court
- A complete and open exchange of information
- A solution that takes into consideration the highest priorities of the couple and their children
Cooperation is what sets Collaborative Divorce apart from a traditionally litigated divorce. By choosing the Collaborative Divorce Process, you will resolve your disputes respectfully using the expertise of a multi-disciplinary team.
Who are the Collaborative Divorce Team Members?
Attorney: Each spouse has a Collaborative Attorney to advise you about the divorce process, your legal rights and responsibilities under the law. The two attorneys help you and your spouse develop creative solutions while negotiating your agreement. The attorneys prepare the Marital Settlement Agreement.
Coach: Each spouse has a Divorce Coach who is a licensed mental health specialist trained in communication skills and relationship dynamics. Your coach provides emotional encouragement as you go through the strain of changing relationships within your family. You will learn stress management tools and ways to focus on goals for today and the future. The coaches also help the two of you develop an “Intention Statement”, sometimes known as a Mission Statement of how you want to go through the divorce process and after the divorce. If there are children, the Divorce Coach will help you and your partner develop a Co-Parenting Plan.
Financial: The Collaborative Divorce Process has one, neutral Financial Specialist who collects the financial information about the couple’s assets, income, debts and obligations. They can take an objective look at financial facts. This neutral financial specialist educates you to understand your financial situation and helps you develop financial options for your future before the final divorce agreement.
Child Specialist: If there are minor children, there is one, neutral Child Specialist who is a licensed mental health professional trained in child development and the needs of children before and after a divorce. The Child Specialist is the voice of the children making them a priority and not a casualty of divorce. Sometimes, the Child Specialist will meet with adult children who are having a difficult time adjusting to their parent’s divorce.