The Strength of the Collaborative Team
Many people choose to engage in the collaborative process for many reasons. One of the reasons I hear over and over again from clients that have chosen this process is that the strength of the team is one of the greatest benefits, but what does that really mean. When you choose to divorce using the collaborative process, it means that you not only have your attorney representing you, but you also have two additional neutral professionals. The financial professional is trained and has a background in finance. Many are either certified divorce financial professionals, CPAs, or financial advisers. These professionals have been trained in the many financial nuances and issues that arise in divorce including the implication of tax law changes, how different types of assets are treated to ensure the best outcome for both parties and how to manage debt after divorce. The financial neutral is not representing either party, but working as a team member to support the family and generate options for the best possible outcome for both parties.
Similarly, the coach facilitator also works in harmony with the financial neutral and both attorneys to ensure that the case is proceeding smoothly. Because the collaborative divorce operates outside the oversight of the court’s case management system, the coach facilitator acts as a kind of case manager for the process. Ensuring that the team stays on task, the parties use their time in meetings efficiently and effectively and most importantly manages the emotion between the divorcing couple so that they can stay on task, focused on obtaining the best possible result for their family. While this role is frequently undervalued by parties, as a professional I have witnessed numerous families fall into the trap of spending hours arguing over a particular issue, those issues are often simply the focal point of an underlying deeply emotional concern. Having a coach facilitator able to work with the parties in order to recognize those emotional triggers, helps to keep them at bay and move the process forward to a more equitable and cost effective resolution.