Collaborative practice gives couples more control over the process of separation or divorce, and helps them use their financial resources where they are needed most. It is an interdisciplinary approach, which builds expert advice into the process. Couples save money where they are able to work one-on-one with a financial specialist, child specialist, or coach. In addition, they are able to minimize the impact of the divorce on children, by developing Parenting Plans, which meet the needs of their children.
Here is how to get started:
Become Educated About the Collaborative Process. Review the materials and resources on our Resources page, and our FAQs page.
Find the right professional
Some people are most concerned about the impact of divorce on their children, some about their finances, and some about their communication. You can learn about the Collaborative process and how it would address those concerns by interviewing, individually or together, any Collaborative professionals: an attorney, neutral child specialist, neutral coach or neutral financial specialist.
Share with your spouse
Introduce Collaborative Practice to your spouse or partner. Collaborative divorce is a voluntary process. It is important for both of you to agree that Collaborative is the best process for you to use to get through your divorce. If your relationship with your partner is cordial, you can give him or her information about the process and the website references.
Your partner might be more likely to appreciate the information if it comes from a source other than you. Brainstorm ideas with the Collaborative professional you interview for ways to inform your partner about Collaborative divorce. You know your partner better than anyone. Think about what approach would be most effective in introducing the Collaborative process to your partner.
Assemble your team
Once you and your partner have agreed to use the Collaborative process, you will each retain your attorney and meet with him or her prior to a first joint meeting. It is optimal to select and meet with your neutral coach prior to the first joint meeting so that the coach can facilitate this session.
Schedule a First Joint Meeting
At the first joint meeting, meaning, the first meeting in which you meet with your entire Collaborative team, you will sign the Collaborative Participation Agreement, identify your major goals and concerns, and plan the next steps of your process. If you have not already hired a coach, financial specialist, or neutral child specialist, you will make decisions about assembling the rest of your team at this time.