Getting Started in the Collaborative Process

Working Together for Better Solutions.

Within the Collaborative Process, as applicable, collaboratively-trained interdisciplinary professionals work together as a team to assist the parties involved reach an agreementWhile many people start the process by contacting a lawyer, you can begin the Collaborative Process by contacting any collaboratively trained professional. If your most immediate questions and concerns involve finances, you might want to start by contacting one of our Financial Specialists. Alternatively, if you’re struggling with emotions, conflict or parenting issues, you may wish to contact a Separation & Divorce Coach.

Collaborative Team Professionals

The Collaborative Team is always comprised of two collaboratively-trained lawyers who represent the legal and personal needs of each client. In addition, psychologists, social workers, or financial professionals, can work together with the lawyers as part of a collaborative team. All professionals in the process must have training in the Collaborative Process.

The roles of the collaborative professionals are described below.

Family Lawyers

The lawyers work collaboratively in a non-adversarial manner toward the achievement of a mutually-acceptable agreement. They provide legal advice, prepare necessary legal documents, and guide clients through the Collaborative Separation/Divorce process while protecting their respective client’s legal interests.

Separation & Divorce Coach/ Mental Health Professional

A registered health care professional with specialized training in emotional/mental health. Within the Collaborative Process, these professionals work in the role of a neutral Separation/Divorce Coach to provide each of the parties with support to cope with and effectively manage typical, as well as unique, challenges associated with separation or divorce, inclusive of addressing co-parenting issues and the impact marital dissolution can have on children.

Child Specialist

A certified mental health professional with special training in child development. When assessed as a requirement, they provide children with a safe place to express their feelings and help parents to protect children from the emotional damage the separation and/or divorce can cause.

Financial Specialist

A certified financial professional with special training to assist clients with the gathering, understanding and organization of financial information. This professional develops an accurate understanding of your current financial situation as well as options for your future and will take into account your family's tax planning, investments, budgets, debts, and present and future well-being in settlement options.