Couples who engage in the Collaborative Divorce Process may want further information about the professionals that can be a part of their meetings. If the couple wishes, they may hire additional professionals to assist the process towards a positive conclusion. These are “neutral” professionals, not representing either party, but working for the benefit of BOTH. Some of these professionals can include neutral Collaborative Divorce Coaches, neutral Child Specialists, and neutral Financial Experts. These neutral professionals in addition to their appropriate licensing, have been trained in the Collaborative Divorce Process, Mediation and New York Divorce Law. These additional professionals, while first appearing to add to the cost of the divorce, usually result in savings due to their ability to help the couple come to a quicker resolution and save money on attorney fees. This saves the clients time and money while avoiding the turmoil of a contested, emotionally-charged court battle. If you are interested in the Collaborative Divorce Process, you should contact an attorney who has trained in the Collaborative Process and who is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professional or the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals. If you need quality and compassionate legal services from a seasoned Collaborative Law Attorney, with appropriate credentials, contact Leslye M. Schlesinger.
The Collaborative Divorce attorney
When couples engage in a Collaborative Divorce, they will hire a Collaboratively Trained family law attorney. Throughout the process, the attorney’s role is to represent the interests of their client while reaching a negotiated settlement that meets both parties legitimate needs. The attorney will work with the other attorney and team to help the parties agree to terms, draft a settlement agreement that is appropriate for the couple’s situation, and file the necessary documents with the court. Collaborative lawyers and their respective clients will enter an agreement at the start of the process called a Participation Agreement. In that agreement, the collaborative lawyers will pledge a commitment to seeing the process through. To ensure that the attorneys do not aggravate any discord between the parties, causing the Collaborative Process to fail, the lawyers hired for the Collaboration may not represent their clients in any subsequent divorce litigation in court.
The Collaborative Divorce Coach
If the couple wishes to expand the Collaborative Divorce team to include experts, they may wish to engage in a Collaborative Divorce coach. A divorce coach is a licensed mental health professional whose goal is to recognize and prioritize the concerns of each person, effectively use conflict resolution measures and guide the couple through the most constructive means of communication, and work collaboratively with the couple, attorneys, and other experts to improve communication. They also assist both parties with managing emotions which are part of the divorce process and help reduce stress. If a child specialist is not engaged, some Divorce Coaches may assist the couple in developing effective co-parenting skills.
The Financial Specialist
If a couple wishes to engage with a financial specialist, his or her goal will be to provide ongoing and practical financial guidance, planning, and budgeting advice. Furthermore, he or she will assist with the discovery process by gathering and organizing relevant information to the parties’ incomes, expenses, assets, and debts, ensure a clear understanding of each party’s financial situation, and educate clients regarding the short and long-term impact of their decisions through the process. The financial neutral is frequently asked to develop various support scenarios including all tax ramifications, for the couple to consider.
The Child Specialist
Parents have a duty to consider the impact the divorce process will have on the children. When a couple engages in the Collaborative Divorce Process, they are already making a good decision for their children. If they choose to expand the team, a child specialist may be an important part. A child specialist can assist in everything from helping the couple announce their choice to divorce to their children (in an age-appropriate fashion), to assisting in arranging custody and parental access (visitation), and preparing a “Parenting Plan” if necessary. The child specialist’s goal is also to provide the child with the ability to voice concerns regarding the divorce, provide the parents with information and guidance to best serve the needs of their child, and establish an effective co-parenting plan for their children.
Contact a New City collaborative family law attorney
As the courts take longer and longer to process divorce actions, Collaborative Divorce is becoming an attractive alternative manner in which to end a marriage. Through a constructive negotiation, a couple can resolve all contested issues and reach a Settlement Agreement within months. It is important to consider this alternative to litigation. If you need an experienced collaborative family law attorney to guide you through the process with compassion and integrity, contact Leslye M. Schlesinger today.