Before starting the Collaborative Process, the participants might follow the following steps in order to choose whether the Collaborative Process is for them. Here is a quick overview of each step, which will be discussed in further detail later in this eBook.
Step #1: Learning about and understanding the Collaborative Process. It is different from Litigation, Mediation, and Settlement Negotiations. In the Collaborative Process, there are attorneys, mental health coaches, financial neutrals and child specialist that are Collaboratively Trained Professionals. Parties can learn about the process from any of these Professionals and each professional will have their distinct role in the Collaborative Team.
Step #2: Choosing a Collaboratively Trained Professional. Each party will need to retain a lawyer who has been collaboratively trained. Because this process is so different from other areas of law, each professional needs to be specially trained.
Step #3: Talking to your Partner about the Collaborative Process and how to convince them it is the best process for you both. In some situations one partner may be willing to proceed with the Collaborative Process, but the other spouse may dig their heels in and not understand what the process is or how it works. Each partner should speak with a Collaboratively Trained Professional to learn about the process or how the process might work toward achieving his or her goals.
Step #4: Meet with other Collaborative Professionals. The participants’ counsel will speak with each other and the participants to determine whether mental health coaches or financial neutrals might be used in this process. The participants will then meet with their coaches and/or financial neutrals.
Step #5: Discussion about the Process. The participants will then discuss their options together and/or with their Collaboratively Trained Attorneys and decided whether they are willing to participate in this process.
Step #6: The Parties Select the Collaborative Process. After the participants have selected the Collaborative approach to resolve their differences and finalize their divorce, they will follow these steps. Some of the steps may be repeated or skipped and some may not occur, depending on the facts of each matter. These steps follow the steps found under Considering the Collaborative Process.