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Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce
Respect, dignity, mutual self interest, protection of children and financial planning - these are the hallmarks of the collaborative process. This process was developed from the recognition that divorce is not only a legal process, but also a financial and emotional process. The collaborative team provides the divorcing family with the legal, emotional and financial support that they need while they create lasting agreements. Children are not present in the collaborative team meetings. However, the child specialist will meet with the children and bring the children's voice into the collaborative process.

What is the difference with Collaborative divorce?
In a conventional divorce, one party sues the other for
divorce and sets in motion a series of legal steps which
lead to a court hearing. The court process is usually
highly stressful for the parties. Children are
traumatized by the conventional divorce process
when they are caught in the middle of the
conflict between their parents.

What is the difference with Mediation Divorce?
In mediation, an impartial third party
attorney-mediator facilitates the negotiations. The
mediator does not advocate for either party and does not give individual legal advice. By way of contrast, the collaborative process was designed to allow each party to have their attorney, their coach and the joint financial and child specialist with them during some or all of the negotiation sessions. Collaborative professionals have received specialized training to assure that the process stays balanced, positive and productive.

Learn more about Mediation Divorce.

How do I know if the collaborative process is right for me?
If you want to avoid court but are not comfortable with with meeting with your spouse and a mediator, then
collaborative divorce is a good alternative. In the
collaborative divorce process you have a skilled
family law attorney with you at all meetings to
help you identify your needs and interests. Both you and your spouse will also have your divorce coach
with you during many of the meetings. The neutral
financial specialist is present during meetings
in which financial issues are addressed and the child specialist is present during meetings in which
parenting topics are discussed. Individuals also meet separately with their attorneys and coaches
throughout the process as needed.

What is a Divorce Coach?

A divorce coach is a communication specialist. This
expert has at least 5 years of experience as a Marriage
Family Therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker or Psychologist, and has received specialized training in the collaborative process. The job of a divorce coach is to help their client identify "hot button issues" and to teach their client ways to defuse those conflict areas to maximize settlement options.

What is a Child Specialist and how do I know if we need one?
One of the primary motivations of couples interested
in collaborative divorce is to protect the children from
fallout of the divorce - stress and trauma. The role of
the child specialist is to help the parents craft a
parenting plan that is in their children's best interest.
The child specialist meets with the parties together
and with their children to assess the dynamics of the
family and provide a structure for a workable parenting
plan. The parties need a child specialist if they disagree
about what is in the best interest of the children.

What is a Financial Specialist?
The Financial Specialist is a financial planner,
investment advisor or CPA who has received
additional training in the area of family law and
the collaborative process. There is only one
financial specialist on a collaborative team.
The job of the financial specialist is to assist the
parties in preparation of the required financial disclosure documents and to help them understand
the financial costs/benefits of the options
they may discuss during the collaborative process.
The financial specialist may work with the parties to develop options for discussion.

Will the collaborative process save time and money?

The collaborative process allows for an efficient use
of the expertise of each professional. The attorneys
work on the legal aspects of the case, while the
coaches work o the emotional and communication
aspects. Each professional is working in the area
where they are trained and are allowing other
professionals to work on the issues where they
are best trained. When attorneys are attempting to
deal with all of the divorce issues, many of which
they have not received specialized training, the
result is that the couple is paying the most costly
professional to address the issues that could be
more effectively addressed by the coaches or other
professional members of the team. The collaborative
process may seem expensive at the outset, but
frequently results in a cost savings due to the ability
of the team to efficiently work together for the
benefit of the divorcing family.

To Get Started -
You can schedule an appointment by email
or call us at:

Family Together

A community service
open to women who
want to learn more about
the process of divorce.
The workshop is offered
the second Saturday
of each month.

Click Here  to link to
Sacramento Collaborative
Practice Group,
then click on
Divorce Options
for schedule and
monthly topics.