By Brian Galbraith
Collaborative Team Practice (CTP) is a revolutionary new way of resolving issues related to your separation and divorce without going to court. In CTP, a team of professionals works with you and your spouse to find the best possible outcome for your entire family. You stay in control of the process and the outcome. You find win-win, long-lasting solutions. It’s private, cost-effective, efficient and dignified. It works.
Here is how CTP Works:
- In a CTP negotiation, both parties’ lawyers act as facilitators for constructive communication. They provide legal advice so you know the range of outcome at court and they ensure a legally binding agreement is produced.
- Before negotiations begin, both parties and their lawyers must sign a “Participation Agreement” that commits them to reach a settlement without going to Court. The agreement also requires both parties to make a full and honest disclosure of all financial and relevant information.
- If you or your spouse decide to withdraw, or if a lawyer discovers that important information is being withheld, both lawyers are required to withdraw from the case. No other lawyer from the firm can represent the client. This provides a very strong incentive for both parties and their lawyers to negotiate in good faith.
- Each party works with a Divorce Coach to assist in dealing with the emotional journey inherent to separation and in developing communication and post-separation strategies.
- A Financial Advisor is jointly retained to assist the parties to collect the relevant financial information and to explore settlement options.
- Lastly, a Child Specialist will meet with the children and help the parents develop a parenting plan that is in the best interests of the children.
- This process may, at first, sound more expensive, but in reality it is much cheaper than the Court process and is usually less expensive than negotiations between two lawyers. Why? When working through the financial issues you will be sharing the cost of one Financial Advisor rather than each paying for your own lawyers to do the same work. Likewise, you will share the cost of the Child Specialist instead of having to both retain experts. The Divorce Coach will help you keep the emotional issues from sabotaging or prolonging the negotiations, saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in legal fees.
- If you get stuck in the negotiations, you can resolve the issue by arbitration and continue with the negotiation process for the other issues.
CTP just makes sense. You get the help you need rather than spending your time, money and energy on fighting. In other words, you are getting a team of experts working to find the best solution for the whole family rather than each of you assembling a band of warriors focused on waging war against your spouse.
In addition to saving you money, CTP will result in a better settlement: a win – win solution. As a result, you and your spouse will likely be able to preserve your relationship with one another. Perhaps hard to believe, but it’s true. This leads to a much more healthy situation for the children’s sake.
At Galbraith Family Law, we feel the Collaborative Process is an excellent way of resolving issues between separating couples. We believe it is a much better alternative to Court and strongly encourage you to consider using this option if your situation requires it. Please don’t hesitate to ask any of the lawyers at Galbraith Family Law about the process and how it can help you. The members of our Association are all trained in Collaborative Practice and can help too.