Collaborative Practice is a process that includes a team of experts that you choose (your own lawyers, and a team of professionals in family, financial and children specialties), working to find the best solution for the whole family. There is a commitment to reach a settlement, using full and honest disclosure of all financial and relevant information.
Caution: Be sure you understand the official qualifications of people you choose to share your personal information with.
Divorces are often a very difficult time emotionally for the whole family. Parties can struggle with numerous thoughts and feelings, which are often not helpful to the process. Often the parties are not talking, at least not civilly, with their previous partner, and there is a great deal of frustration and confusion in addition to anger and hurt for adults and any children involved. If parties try to ignore their feelings, the process is often sabotaged by human realities of hurt and anger and grief. This can prolong the procedures, which increases frustration, time and costs.
Collaborative Practice (CP) champions a way to help rather than hinder the separating couple. Each CP team includes your own individual lawyer, and professionals you choose from within family, financial and children specialties. There is a commitment to reach a family-specific settlement, using full and honest disclosure of all financial and relevant information. The team pledge in writing not to go to court which opens the avenue for a respectful, problem-solving approach. This is very different from adversarial process traditionally used during divorce procedures.
SGBFM’s Divorce Coach/Parenting Coach/Family Specialist works with you through the stages of divorce emotions. During meetings individually with the separating couple there is counselling and teaching regarding emotional observation and regulation, communication and problem-solving strategies. These skills assist both parties in understanding the other person’s thoughts and preferences, enabling negotiations. Solutions are explored. The best interests for any children are incorporated into a parenting plan.
Ultimately, a Collaborative Team Practice process finalizes a divorce agreement that has been achieved through mutual problem solving. You controlled shaping the final agreement, rather than having a court impose a settlement on you. It is not a magic formula; it is not always a smooth road to settlement, but the end result can be much better than anyone may have previously predicted for the family.