Professional’s Roles

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Roles Of The Collaborative Practice Professional

The Collaborative process helps a divorcing couple achieve an effective resolution, while minimizing the negative consequences often associated with divorce. To accomplish this goal, different disciplines work together in a team, integrating the legal, emotional, and financial aspects of divorce.

The composition of your Collaborative team will be structured to meet your needs. Members of your Collaborative team will assist you by performing some or all of the functions listed below.

The Collaborative Attorneys

Each represents the best interests of the client while working within the Collaborative process. Each lawyer:

Educates the client to ensure he/she makes informed decisions.
Helps the client identify and assess the client’s needs, as well as those of the other party.
Helps the client explore realistic alternatives to meet the client’s needs.
Assists the parties in managing conflict.
Helps create the Collaborative team.
Works collaboratively with the other lawyer and the team.
Respects the right to self-determination and assists the parties in implementing agreements.
Has a duty to terminate the process if a client fails to adhere to the Collaborative Settlement Participation Agreement.
Drafts the settlement agreement.​

The Collaborative Financial Neutral

The Collaborative divorce financial specialist is a licensed financial professional who is a neutral member of the team. This role plays an integral part in the process. The Financial Neutral helps you understand in a clear and concise manner what assets, liabilities and incomes you have and the different possible solutions that will work for you, your spouse and children moving forward. Their role consists of the following:

Assess the level of financial understanding of each spouse, and educate each accordingly.
Identify financial issues specific to the case.
Help each member of the couple manage financial expectations.
Work as a neutral financial analyst, creating income and expense projections for the near and longer term.
Interpret appraisals.
Assist with the discovery process by gathering documentation of income, expenses, assets, and debts.

The Collaborative Coach/Therapist

Each Collaborative therapist is a licensed mental health professional. Each coach is a certified coach and mediator. Their roles in the collaborative process encompasses the following:

Improve communication skills to minimize misunderstandings.
Improve conflict resolution skills and navigate the emotional aspects of divorce.
Develop effective co-parenting skills.
Identify and prioritize the client’s concerns.
Draft a Parenting Plan.
Assist in creating a roadmap theough divorce and after.
Solution based guidance.

The Collaborative Case Manager

The Case Manager role is part of the coach/therapist role and that professional acts as the case manager throughout the entire process.

Draft agenda
Have all needed documents for team members and clients
Provide refreshments for all team meetings with clients
Follow-ups with the team
Facilitate meetings to ensure they are as effective, productive and efficient as possible
Be the ‘go to’ person for any non-legal questions
Schedule meetings
Special requests by attorneys
Provide clients with resources

The Child Specialist

The Collaborative divorce child specialist is a licensed mental health professional. The child specialist is a neutral member of the team who helps the parents:

Focus on the needs of each child.
Hear the concerns of each child, bringing the child’s voice into the process.
Understand age-appropriate developmental issues, and how these will change over time.
Explore options for appropriate parenting plans.
Be effective co-parents.

The child specialist may also provide children with support and information about the divorce process.

The Collaborative Mediator

If there is an issue where the clients are at an impasse, an outside mediator will be brought into
the case to mediate that specific issue.

Helps the parties identify the issues they will work on during team meetings.
Facilitates communication during team meetings.
Helps the parties and attorneys decide which participants to add to the Collaborative team.
Serves as a case manager, often essential to keeping the process moving forward toward resolution.