Clients are so overwhelmed during the divorce process that most of them “just want it over”. For most, they find that their journey as a new family unit is just beginning. The legal case ends with the entry of a divorce decree that addresses the parenting plan for children and the various financial matters of the parents and their children. Hopefully the parents worked with a neutral … [Read more...] about Post-Divorce Teamwork
Benefits of Team Approach
The Power of the Collaborative Divorce Process The Collaborative Divorce Process, at its core, is a problem-solving practice; a structured method designed to create an optimal solution from a set of common and conflicting interests held by multiple parties. The Collaborative process has inherent power, as its focus is on interests, options, consequences and optimal solutions. By … [Read more...] about Structure and Neutrality: Power Source in Collaborative Divorce
One of the most important decisions that divorcing parents will make is which process to choose for their divorce. Not every couple is a good fit for a collaborative divorce. Some parents need to have someone to make decisions for them. But for those parents who put their children’s interest first and who understand that everyone wins when relationships and their estate are protected from … [Read more...] about Collaborate Divorce Makes Better Post-Divorce Parents: Why?
Sherry came home from caring for her ailing mother in Delaware to find that 2/3 of the furniture had been removed from her house and the cat had been kidnapped. Surprise- Joe, her husband, wants a divorce. That is how she found out. This sounds like the beginning of War of the Roses, not the beginning of a collaborative divorce case, but it was. Why would Sherry select the collaborative … [Read more...] about Reasons that People Select the Collaborative Process (even when the cat is kidnapped)
Jody Johnson and Honey Sheff, both CDD members, presented on July 20th at a gathering of collaborative law professionals in Frisco. The talk centered on effective strategies that collaborative professionals can employ when facing challenges with clients. These problems can cover a broad spectrum–from clients who do not really want the divorce, those who want to control matters beyond their … [Read more...] about CDD members present in Frisco to Collaborative Divorce Professionals
…from a Mental Health Professional’s Perspective Working as a Neutral Mental Health Professional, on collaborative teams, gives me a unique view of the process and my role. I have learned so many things from parents who are going thru a divorce, or are already divorced, and working to build a strong co-parenting relationship. It is not unusual, when I first meet people who have chosen this … [Read more...] about Building Bridges in the Collaborative Process
The MHP is neutral. That is an essential component of the mental health professional’s power in the collaborative divorce process. That said, if I’m on anyone’s “side,” it would be have to be that of the kids. My goal is to enable their parents to make the most informed decisions and to learn how to communicate and resolve conflict moving forward so that they can be the best co-parents that … [Read more...] about Mental Health Professional: Children’s Best Asset in Collaborative Divorce
The Mental Health Professional (MHP) manages the collaborative divorce process much like an emcee does any large-scale event, handling many moving parts to help create an outcome that is goal driven and designed to meet the clients’ needs. He or she facilitates the process that empowers adults undergoing divorce to structure a customized, individualized plan tailor made to move their family … [Read more...] about Why Does Collaborative Divorce Need a Mental Health Professional on the Team?
In the team approach of collaborative divorce, the Neutral Financial Professional (FP) can be an enormous asset. Instead of each client paying the billing rate for his or her family lawyer to work up their financials separately (the protocol in litigation), the collaborative team has only one financial player, so only one fee to be split between the clients. Additionally, the FP is a financial … [Read more...] about Benefits of Using a Financial Professional in Collaborative Divorce
Within the collaborative divorce process, in addition to each client engaging their own divorce attorney, two “neutral professionals” round out the team to reach a divorce settlement amenable to both parties: a mental health professional (MHP) and a neutral financial professional (FP). For this post, we will focus on the financial professional: who he or she is, what he or she does, and why he or … [Read more...] about What is a Neutral Financial Professional in Collaborative Divorce?
Critics of collaborative divorce argue that the majority of cases settle before trial anyway, often at mediation, so why risk having to withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached? Why would any lawyer sign an agreement compelling withdrawal from representation if the case ends up in court (as the collaborative divorce process requires)? For someone who is unfamiliar with collaborative … [Read more...] about How Collaborative Law Differs from Mediation
It isn’t a touchy-feely job title: divorce attorney. Law school training sets a certain scene: a courtroom, a winner, a loser. The attorney’s job is to find evidence of wrongdoing from the opponent and to form an argument to prove their client is innocent. In this inherently adversarial process, attorneys do not make friends of the “other side.” For many areas of practice, such as insurance … [Read more...] about How Collaborative Divorce Has Made Me a Better Lawyer
Good question. Over the past few years, over countless hours, Texas proudly becomes the first state to develop a methodology for recognizing collaborative professionals who have attained the highest standards of collaborative practice. The focus of the work has been to offer the public a peer-recognized means for evaluating the skill set of collaborative professionals to help potential clients … [Read more...] about What Exactly Is a “Collaborative Divorce Professional”?
As practice groups “age,” the enthusiasm of its members often declines. This can be reversed with a clear sense of awareness of the occurrence and a focused attention for solutions. The mission and goals of the group must be thoroughly and specifically articulated. Begin with a simple question. “What do we want?” Is it increased referral sources, opportunities for additional education? Is … [Read more...] about Spice Up, Enthuse, and Reignite Your Collaborative Practice Group
I’ve practiced divorce law for more than forty years. Just go with me here. A useful phrase to employ when consulting with someone in the throes of divorce is “temporary insanity.” Not that these people are certifiable, of course—though that soon to be ex-spouse might have you think otherwise. And that’s part of the issue. The emotional upheaval and sense of loss that surround the process can … [Read more...] about Divorce Options, Attorney Obligations, and the Light at the End of the Tunnel
Whether a couple is in the throes of divorce proceedings or contemplating marriage dissolution, holiday months arrive as a potent reminder. Holidays can become occasion for some to look closer: at what they have, what they do not have, and what they stand to lose. If divorce is complicated—and that is usually an understatement—divorce that involves kids can be overwrought with emotional landmines. … [Read more...] about The Gift of Collaboration
Collaborative Divorce is truly a team effort. Both spouses have their own Collaborative attorney, as well as counsel from neutral professionals in Mental Health and Financial Planning. Why is the whole team critical to success? Because divorce is more than a single legal transaction. It’s a whole-life change. That means divorcing couples need assistance with three significant needs: emotional, … [Read more...] about Team Approach Provides Tangible Results