186820735In Part I we learned that advocacy in the “rights-based” Court Model is hard on the people involved because by focusing on the 3rd-party decision maker, e.g., the judge, the parties care little about each other’s view.  As a result, their relationship can become more adversarial.  In Part II we learned that by removing the decision maker in the “interest-based” Collaborative Model the parties become the decision makers who resolve mutual problems based on their defined future needs, interests, and goals.  But is the removal of the 3rd party decision maker enough to create a process that is truly “soft” on the people? Most people who have gone through a divorce agree that divorce is much more than a legal event.  More importantly divorce is about changing relationships, improving communication, establishing co-parenting, engaging in problem-solving, and securing a stable financial future.  But many divorce processes do not adequately address these more important concerns, thus limiting divorce to simply a legal commodity. To gain the added value of improving your relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, of becoming successful co-parents, of mutually planning for the future, and of customizing your financial arrangement to meet the needs of all family members within the resources available, requires the assistance and expertise of NEUTRAL professionals.   These neutral professionals include a Neutral Financial Professional, a Neutral Coach, and a Neutral Child Specialist.  This team approach is the “secret sauce” used in the Collaborative Model that can transform the experience of this life event into something constructive, affirming, and even peaceful.  Obviously, this is of great benefit to children. Diagram - The Power of Neutrality 082814 In addition to the support and expertise provided, the neutrality of the neutral professionals balances attorney advocacy.  This permits the attorney to stay in the problem-solving and interest-based advocacy role for his or her client, while the neutral professionals hold the ground for resolution on behalf of the whole family.  This interdisciplinary, holistic approach to advocacy and expertise is what distinguishes the Collaborative Model from any other model out there. Collaborative professionals like to say this model contributes to world peace one family at a time.  If this approach makes sense to you, tell your friends, family, and colleagues about the Collaborative Model and contribute to world peace.

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