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What is Collaborative Practice?

The Collaborative Divorce Team Approach:

Why Do We Care?

CDTT promotes and advocates the Collaborative Divorce Team approach because experience has taught us that the Team best supports the clients and their family with the best resources for reaching a durable agreement that is effective for both parents and their children.

Divorce is not only a legal decree restoring a couple to single status. Every divorcing family has at least three divorces: emotional, financial, and legal. Too often, while the legal divorce is addressed, the financial divorce is done by formula, and the emotional divorce is treated with a band-aid or ignored altogether. Rather than deal with each divorce separately, Collaborative Divorce gives family members an integrated approach of positive support through the transition from married to single.

Divorce forces many changes: children face new circumstances and, often, very challenging situations. Family financial stability is threatened. New parenting plans must be created, assets and debts allocated, and income re-distributed.

While making a multitude of complex decisions, parents are at a very demanding point in their own lives. They are under enormous stress. Many suffer from anxiety and depression. The ability to communicate with a spouse is at a low point. Problem solving seems a distant reality. In the midst of all this, people are expected to make major decisions that will impact the rest of their and their children’s lives.

Collaborative Divorce recognizes that addressing each of the various facets of a divorcing family is the healthiest approach for that family. Collaborative Divorce provides skilled professionals who:

  1. Help clients manage emotions;
  2. Help clients learn better communication skills;
  3. Help clients set individual and co-parenting roles;
  4. Provide the children with a voice in the divorce;
  5. Help the parents arrive at a workable parenting plan recognizing their children’s needs;
  6. Help clients understand their financial situation;
  7. Help clients arrive at a financial settlement best designed to address their future needs;
  8. Help clients negotiate and reach acceptable agreements.
  9. Provide guidance about the legal sufficiency of the final agreement.

Divorce professionals know that, throughout the divorce process, clients will inevitably face stumbling blocks in the legal, financial, and emotional arenas. Rather than stigmatize a client by "calling in" professionals to “fix” the client when thorny issues or challenging crises arise, the Collaborative Divorce Team approach anticipates and normalizes these stumbling blocks. Even in less taxing situations, clients benefit from the value added by the expertise of their professional team. 

By using a team from the outset, all of the aspects of the divorce are addressed throughout the process by professionals with the best skill and appropriate training. By working together openly and transparently, clients can address the many complex issues inherent in any divorce with the support and educational advantages offered by their team can from the beginning.

Collaborative Divorce Team Players

  • Two Collaborative Lawyers
  • Two Divorce [Mental Health] Coaches
  • A Child Specialist [Mental Health]
  • A Financial Specialist
  • A Case manager [often one of the Coaches]

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