This is the first step of a series of 12 steps that explains in detail how the Collaborative Process works.
The Collaborative Process was founded on January 1, 1990 by Stuart G. Webb, a Minnesota lawyer who declared himself a “Collaborative Lawyer-the first and only one.” See The Collaborative Way to Divorce, Stuart G. Webb and Ronald D. Ousky, 2007. It is an alternative to litigation that allows participants to reach an agreement with the assistance of trained professionals. The first step in the Collaborative Process is understanding the collaborative process in order to determine whether a particular case is suitable for the process. There are many resources regarding the Collaborative Process.
Attorney Stuart Webb is the founder of Collaborative Law. Lawyers Stuart Webb and Collaborative pioneer, Ronald Ousky, wrote The Collaborative Way to Divorce (2007), which is an excellent introduction in the Collaborative Process. Pauline H. Tesler, Esquire is the founder and first president of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), and she has also published several books on Collaborative Law.
The IACP website is a great resource for learning about Collaborative Law. Additionally, there are many local Collaborative groups who can also provide information about the process and contact information for Collaborative Professionals, including the Howard County Collaborative Professionals, Inc. and Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals. The Maryland Collaborative Practice Council and the Collaborative Project of Maryland are also helpful resources.
In addition to reading about the Collaborative Process, it is a good idea to have dialog with a Collaborative Professional about the process. Collaborative Professionals include attorneys, mental health coaches, financial experts, and child specialists.
When thinking of getting a divorce, a spouse can speak with any Collaboratively trained professional to gather more information about
the process in general, recommendations for talking to your spouse about the process, and advice determining whether or not a Collaborative Divorce is right for you. Speaking to different professionals can shed additional light on the Collaborative Process as well as assist in choosing which professionals to hire.