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As part of collaborative divorce you will have a collaborative divorce team of professionals beyond your attorney to assist you in the dissolution of your marriage or partnership.

On the surface this may seem like it would be prohibitively expense for some, however, that is not necessarily the case.  Your collaborative team might consist of a lawyer, financial planner, therapist, realtor, for example, depending on your family’s needs. This collaborative team may actually save you money and time if you reach an amicable settlement. A divorce trial appeals and subsequent motions to modify can be vastly more expensive.

How does this collaborative divorce team work?

The collaborative divorce process will usually draw on the expertise of qualified professionals to advise on and resolve the issues that typically arise in divorce proceedings. Depending on your situation you might have issues pertaining to minor children and the distribution of finances and personal property.

Your collaborative divorce team might include:

Financial Planner

One of the most complex and worrisome aspects of a divorce is the allocation of the jointly owned estate, including marital assets or liabilities.  A financial professional is the most likely member of your team. This might be a financial planner, investment advisor, or a similar finance professional. The financial planning expert will provide advice on the best ways to divide, distribute, or otherwise dispose of financial accounts – including bank, investment, and/or retirement accounts.

Real Estate Broker

If your home, or any other real estate, is to be address in your divorce, then it is usually wise to tap the expertise of a real estate professional in your collaborative process. This may include someone who can appraise property and/or list and then sell marital properties.

Child Psychologist

It is no surprise that the divorce of a child’s parents can be traumatic. Divorce can be more difficult for children than the adults. A child psychologist or therapist may help ensure your child or children receive the support they need.  There is also the possibility that a mental health professional would be helpful for the entire family to ensure a smoother transition. You might expect this to be a longer process of supporting the family and individuals as you move forward.

Parenting Coordinator

A parenting coordinator helps you develop a parenting plan for moving on to co-parenting.  There are a number of details that the coordinator can help you clarify so that co-parenting after the divorce will procced more smoothing.  Some of these details are issues related to decision-making or establishing a timesharing or contact schedule. A parenting coordinator can facilitate the negotiations between the parents on the terms of a co-parenting plan.

Why would someone want to use this collaborative divorce process?

The collaborative divorce process helps you control the outcome of your divorce through measured negotiations rather than entering the trial process. The members of your collaborative professional team, along with your attorney, will guide you through a thorough review of the issues that need to be addressed at every step of the way. By bringing these additional professionals into the process, there generally will be a greater attention to the specific needs of your family. If you and your spouse are both committed to the process, there is a higher probability that you will benefit from the avoidance of protracted and extended litigation. This alone helps minimize the financial and emotional costs of the typical divorce.

Moving forward with the collaborative divorce process

When choosing collaborative divorce keep your eyes on the long-term benefits. There will be costs associated with engaging your collaborative divorce team of professionals, however, you are doing so with the intent of reaching a settlement and bypassing litigation.  If you and your spouse are unable to resolve issues and reach an agreement, then you are forced to litigate the case.

If this happens you must start from the beginning.  Nothing that was said or done during the collaborative process can then later be used by either party in the court case.

Considering a divorce? You likely have more questions. Please click here to schedule an appointment for further consultation.