When a couple decides to end their relationship, they can choose from many different processes to resolve their differences. For a couple that wants to make decisions together about how to handle the end of their relationship, including their finances and decisions regarding their children, a collaborative team of professionals is assembled to help the couple navigate their separation and the end of their relationship. The team includes a financial neutral who will assist with identifying assets and reviewing and helping create budgets for each party to ensure all of the financial information is available for the couple to review and consider in their division of assets and any child expenses or financial assistance between the parties. The team may also include a child specialist to help develop a parenting plan as well as a coach or two coaches to help facilitate communication and enable the legal meetings to be as productive as possible.
Each party will have a trained collaborative divorce attorney who will provide counsel and advice during the process. Each collaborative attorney will represent his or her client and assist with reviewing information and reaching agreements during the process.
The attorneys will also explain the law and how it impacts the decisions that need to be made for the couple to reach a durable separation agreement. Reaching a durable agreement is the goal of collaboration as it will provide the necessary framework for the couple with regard to the following:
The collaborative attorneys will work together to provide legal support for the couple during the collaborative process and each attorney will treat each party with dignity and respect during the collaborative meetings.
Between meetings, each party’s individual attorney will be available to provide emotional and legal support and help the couple move towards a complete resolution of their issues. Generally, the team meets three to four times, culminating in a durable written separation agreement, as well as a no fault divorce at the appropriate time.
Once the agreement has been reached and the divorce finalized, the collaborative team disbands but the team remains available to assist the couple in the future should they wish to return to collaboration to resolve any differences which may arise.
Collaboration focuses on respectful problem solving and cooperative decisions to help the fractured family move forward.
Please contact Owen & Owens to schedule a consultation with one of our collaborative divorce attorneys or call us at (804) 594-1911.