What is the Collaborative Practice Team?

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Collaborative Divorce TeamCollaborative Family Lawyers are legal practitioners who are trained in the collaborative process. Each client retains a collaborative family lawyer to advise them individually and to support them throughout the process. Each client consults privately with their lawyer and then participates in four way or five way meetings with the other client and their lawyer. Often one or both of the other neutral team members (family coach and financial specialist) will also attend the meetings making them five or six-way meetings. Collaborative family lawyers use non-adversarial problem-solving skills to assist clients to resolve all issues in dispute. The collaborative family lawyers prepare the necessary legal documents such as separation agreements to complete the process.

Collaborative Family Coaches are counselors, social workers, psychologists or mediators who have expertise in family dynamics and issues pertaining to separation and divorce. Collaborative family coaches provide emotional support, teach communication skills, discuss parenting, and help ensure that feelings, needs, and concerns are understood and respected.  Family coaches may assist clients with the following:

  • Improving Communication
  • Parenting Plans and access schedules
  • Understanding and assessing the developmental needs of children at different ages

Collaborative Financial Specialists may be accountants, business valuators  and financial planners who have expertise in helping separating families discuss issues relating to property (assets and debts) and support, understanding pensions and investments, understanding taxes, valuing property and businesses (if applicable).  They assist clients in ensuring that full and complete financial information is collected and disclosed to the other party and team members.