The Team

You and Your Collaborative Divorce Team

One reason the Collaborative Practice model works so well in solving disputes lies in its interdisciplinary team approach. The Collaborative Team draws upon the expertise of legal, financial, and mental health professionals, working together on your behalf to provide a healthy, congenial, intelligent approach to divorce, trust & estates, and other civil matters.

Your Collaborative Team may consist of an attorney, a financial specialist, a communication coach, and possibly a child specialist, all trained in the Collaborative Practice model. Learn more about their individual roles and how each professional works to provide you maximum support for all facets of the divorce process.

Collaborative Attorney

  • Assists you in gathering and analyzing information;
  • Explores your needs and interests to develop settlement options and packages;
  • Evaluates the consequences and limitations of possible solutions;
  • Weighs your settlement options in relation to your personal values and interests;
  • Establishes a framework for negotiation;
  • Prepares required legal documentation of your agreement and obtains a Judgment; and
  • Works with you to develop any post-divorce agreements as needed.

Financial Specialist

  • Assesses your current financial status;
  • Gains an understanding of your financial priorities: for example, keeping the family home, or preserving retirement options;
  • Gathers accurate financial data;
  • Provides valuation services;
  • Develops different financial settlement scenarios for you to evaluate; and
  • Offers financial guidance, planning, support and budgeting throughout the divorce process, with follow-up as needed.

Collaborative Coach

  • Helps you clarify your most pressing concerns;
  • Helps you learn to manage your emotions;
  • Helps you develop and reinforce effective communication skills;
  • Helps you build effective co-parenting skills; and
  • Helps you navigate your after-divorce adjustment, with six and 12 month follow ups.

Child Specialist

  • Takes time to listen to each child’s concerns, fears, and hopes;
  • Educates you about the needs of your child in the context of the divorce;
  • Offers resources and guidance to help you maintain healthy relationships with your children;
  • Guides you through establishing a co-parenting relationship with your child’s needs in mind; and
  • Shares information with the Collaborative Coach and Practice team to assist in developing an effective co-parenting plan, with six and 12 month follow-ups.

Case Manager

  • Manages the logistics of the case;
  • Ensures the Collaborative Process is running smoothly;
  • Maintains the schedule including meetings;
  • Facilitates team communication before and after meetings;
  • Tracks timely completion of tasks; and
  • Stays mindful of team dynamics which can affect the Collaborative Process.

Your Role as Part of the Collaborative Practice Team

A unique aspect of the Collaborative Process is that you are not a passive participant. You play an active role with specific expectations and responsibilities. The advantages include the ability to remain in control of decision-making, put the priority on your kid and your relationships, stay informed and protect the things that are important to you. You remove fear from the process because you are informed and aware every step of the way, supported by the members of your Collaborative Practice team.

Your role includes:

  • Actively working towards settling your disputes without court intervention or threat of court intervention;
  • Giving complete, full, honest, open and timely disclosure of all information whether requested or not;
  • Engaging in vigorous good faith negotiations, presenting reasoned proposals in all disputes; and where your proposals differ from the other party, using your best effort to create options and compromising where necessary to reach a settlement of all issues; and
  • Abiding by the standard California Family Law restraining orders required of all divorcing couples, which preclude you from:
    • Removing your minor child or children from the state without the prior written consent of the other party or an order of the court;
    • Cashing, borrowing against, canceling, transferring, disposing of, or changing the beneficiaries of any insurance or other coverage including life, health, automobile and disability held for your benefit or your minor child or children;
    • Transferring, encumbering, hypothecating, concealing, or in any way disposing of any property, real or personal, whether community, quasi-community or separate, without the written consent of the other party or an order of the court, except in the usual course of business;
    • Creating a non-probate transfer or modifying a non-probate transfer in a manner that affects the disposition of property subject to the transfer, without the written consent of the other party or an order of the court. Before revocation of a non-probate transfer can take effect or a right of survivorship to property can be eliminated, you must file a notice of the change and serve the other party.