A Collaborative Divorce Professional is a professional that is utilized in the Collaborative Divorce process to aid the parties to move towards settlement.
COLLABORATIVE LAWYER: The Collaborative Divorce process is started by signing a participation agreement drafted by your lawyer. The settlement that is ultimately achieved through settlement conferences with you, your lawyer, and your spouse and their lawyer, must be placed in writing. The settlement agreement is drafted by the lawyers. Your lawyer will advise you on all matters of divorce law, including child custody, child support, parenting time, alimony, and equitable distribution (division of assets/debts). The Collaborative Lawyer has made a commitment to the collaborative model and cannot litigate your case once a participation agreement is signed.
FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL: The Financial Professional helps ensure that you fully understand the financial ramifications of your settlement. In addition, the Financial Professional aids in compiling your budget and necessary financial documents so that the road to settlement is transparent. Specifically addressing the fear of hidden assets and underhanded dealings, a Financial Professional can assist you in analyzing viable financial options for settlement. Then with your lawyer, you can build a settlement which takes into account your plan for the next chapter in your life.
MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL: A mental health professional can act as a Divorce Coach and will help with the emotional element of moving forward through the divorce process. Often times, emotional impasses prevent a settlement from being reached. A Divorce Coach understands the pain and strain which often comes with a separation and will aid the parties to focus on present goals and the future. In addition, a mental health professional can act as a Child Specialist to help children that may be suffering as a result of the changes which occur subsequent to the divorce. A primary goal of the Collaborative Divorce is to assure that children are a priority and not a casualty. The Child Specialist encourages the children to express their feelings, concerns and hopes, and this is then communicated to the Collaborative Law Team.