The Collaborative Divorce Team

Continued from Tuesday’s post about Collaborative Divorce in Arizona.

Lawyer
It is your lawyer’s responsibility to help you negotiate mutually acceptable agreements with your spouse without having to go to court. A collaborative divorce lawyer will be trained in the Full Team Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce Model. A collaborative lawyer will have respect and integrity for your divorce process and encourages each client to aspire to the same standards.

While representing the best interest of the client and providing legal advice throughout the collaborative process, each lawyer will educate and counsel their client, making them aware of every next step that is to be taken. They will help the client explore realistic alternatives that meet their needs and will help the clients manage conflict that may arise. They are also responsible for facilitating settlement discussion and preparing all documents that need to be filed with the Court.

Divorce Coach
The divorce coach is a mental health professional who will prepare each client so they can effectively participate in the collaborative process. They do not act as a therapist, but use their professional training to help clients manage emotional or psychological issues that could get in the way of productive discussion.

A divorce coach will identify and prioritize the goals and concerns of the client while developing strategies to present any ideas or concerns of the client, and help them advocate themselves so they can be heard. They will also work to develop effective conflict resolution skills, co-parenting skills, and an effective parenting plan that will enhance the co-parenting skills of each spouse.

Financial Specialist
This professional will help you organize, gather, list, understand and analyze financial data that is relevant to your divorce. The financial specialist has special training in Collaborative Divorce and family law, and is a certified financial planner, certified divorce financial analyst, certified divorce planner and sometimes a certified accountant.

A financial specialist will help you identity your hopes, concerns, goals and objectives while helping organize your financial data. They will help you better understand the financial implications of any settlement options you consider and increase your knowledge along the way so you are familiar with the process and can make your own financial decisions without feeling lost. They help clients understand their financial reality, reports and cash flow charts while engaging in honest and informed financial conversations.

Child Specialist
If children have resulted from the marriage and are involved in the divorce, a child specialist will work with you. This is a mental health professional who has specific training to work with families with children going through divorce. The child specialist is responsible for providing a voice for the children and helping parents to clarify the needs and interests of their child.

Overall, the child specialist has three responsibilities:
1. Provide the children with opportunity to voice their concerns
2. Provide parents with information and guidance that will help their children throughout the process
3. Provide information to the collaborative divorce team that will help them develop an effective co-parenting plan that prioritizes the needs of the children.

They will help the adult client understand what their children are going through and give you an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings about their children and how divorce can affect a child.

They will help your children express their feelings, thoughts and concerns about what is happening, while helping them feel safe and supported while examining their reactions to their parents’ divorce and how they feel about their relationship with each parent in a neutral environment without feeling conflicting loyalties.

As the client, the collaborative divorce process is about you. The team will help you navigate through the divorce process in a respectful, private manner while providing you with emotional, legal and financial support. The entire purpose of collaborative divorce is so you and your spouse can negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement without having to go to court. For more information on the divorce process and how you and your spouse can reduce conflict, contact a Glendale spousal attorney at The Sampair Group today.