Choosing a Professional Trained in Collaborative Law

This is the second step of a series of 12 steps that explains in detail how the Collaborative Law Process works. Click here for the previous step.

collaborative lawThere are four different professionals that are used in the Collaborative Law Process: Financial neutrals/specialists, Attorneys, mental health coaches, and child specialists.  In order to be recognized as an International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) collaborative practitioner, each professional, no matter what their specialty, must attend twelve (12) hours of basic Collaborative Training and at least thirty (30) hours training in client-centered, facilitative conflict resolution of the kind typically taught in mediation training.  Also, they also need to have fifteen (15) hours of training in interest-based negotiation, communication skills training, Collaborative training beyond the minimum twelve (12) hours, advanced mediation, and basic professional coach training.

Financial neutrals/specialists are professionals who are licensed and in good standing as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified General Accountant (CGA), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) or equivalent in state, province or country.

They must have a background, experience or education in financial aspects of a divorce, cash management and spending plans, individual and family financial planning concepts, plus many other areas.  In addition to the above, financial neutrals/specialists must have twenty (20) hours of education in the financial fundamentals of divorce giving the financial professional a basic idea of family law in his or her jurisdiction.

Attorneys also need, in addition to the above-training, to be a member in good standing with the administrative body  or Court regulating and governing lawyers in the lawyer’s jurisdiction.

The Mental Health Practitioners and Child Specialists must be a licensed professional licensed in good standing in one of the following areas: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Registered Social Worker (RSW), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC), Canadian Clinical Counsellor (CCC), Registered Psychologist (R Psych), Chartered Psychologist (C Psych), Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP), or Licensed Professional Counsellor (LPC).They must have a background, experience or education in assessment and challenges of family dynamics in separation and divorce family systems theory, plus other areas of individual and family life cycles.   A Child Specialist must have expertise in child development, clinical experience with a specialty focus on children and an in-depth understanding of the unique issues encountered by children when their parenets divorce or separate.  Lastly, the mental health professional/child specialist needs a minimum of three (3) hours of education or training aimed at a basic understanding of family law in his or her own jurisdiction.

Click here for the next step in the Collaborative Process.