Collaborative Divorce offers the services of legal, mental health, and financial professionals working together as a team to help clients through the divorce process.
Legal Counsel: Though Collaborative Practice seeks to avoid going to court, the settlement is still a legal agreement. Therefore, it is essential that a lawyer be involved to advise you on all matters of law including child custody, child support, and division of property. Collaborative lawyers have committed to the Collaborative model through training in the unique aspects of the Collaborative model, working with divorce coaches and financial neutrals.
Divorce Coach (Mental Health Professional): Divorce is a major life transition. While it marks the end of one part of your life, it is also the beginning of another. A mental health professional helps you manage the pain and strain of changing relationships, while focusing on foals for the present and the future. Working with you to make the most of your strengths, your mental health professional assists you in being at your best during the divorce process, then taking positive steps to a new life.
Financial Professional: The divorce settlement will in part determine your financial well-being for many years to come. It is critical it be soundly structured, especially if your spouse assumed more responsibility for your family’s finances. The guidance of a financial professional, referred to as a “financial neutral,” will help protect your interests. Reviewing all assets and incomes, the financial neutral will assist you in developing viable financial options for your future. Evaluating the choices, you and your lawyer can then construct a comprehensive plan for the next stage of your life.
Child Specialist: Children may suffer most from divorce. They may not be able to understand or express their feelings. Their world is being turned upside down in ways they cannot comprehend. Communication with parents may be difficult if not impossible. An important goal of Collaborative Practice is to assure children are a priority, not a casualty. The Child Specialist is a mental health professional skilled in understanding children. He or she will meet with your children privately, helping them express their feelings about the divorce. Encouraging children to think creatively and with optimism about the future, the Child Specialist communicates their feelings, concerns and hopes to the Collaborative team for consideration when planning for the family’s future.