Collaborative Divorce refers to a particular method of negotiating a divorce in which there will be no court appearances. Many feel that this method is the highest level of alternative dispute resolution.
The Collaborative Divorce team consists of two collaboratively trained attorneys, a certified divorce financial planner and a Collaborative facilitator (coach).
A case can be initiated with any member of the team. Most commonly however a spouse will call an attorney and the team will be selected from there.
If there is something that requires immediate attention such as setting a parenting schedule or relocating a spouse to another residence an effort is made to resolve these issues without a formal first meeting. However, if a meeting is needed it will be set.
Ideally, the first meeting occurs after the parties have gathered all of the court’s required disclosures and the financial planner has prepared a budget for each household as well as an asset spreadsheet. The first meeting can be quite productive if all disclosures have already been exchanged.
The financial planner attends all meetings and later in the process will prepare spreadsheets for the parties and their attorneys to illustrate various settlement options.
It is the norm for the Collaborative facilitator to meet with each of the parties individually prior to the first meeting. At the first meeting, the facilitator will lead the group in a discussion of each party’s goals for themselves and their children. These goals will be referred to often throughout the collaborative process.
In addition to managing the meetings, the facilitator will assist both spouses with communication issues that may occur during the meetings. Sometimes a break is needed in a meeting for the facilitator to have a private conversation with one or both parties. An important goal for the facilitator, and the whole team, is to enhance the ability of the parties to express their needs and interests in the meetings.
The process continues with as many meetings as are required until all the issues are resolved.
All the necessary documents are then prepared and filed with the court to finalize the divorce.
The Collaborative Divorce process works because the parties are supported in their emotional, financial and legal needs.
Call 303-554-1415 or contact Bert Dempsey via email to schedule a consultation and learn more about Collaborative Divorce.