All agreements are reached in settlement conferences. Trials and hearings are eliminated, as the settlement is the only agenda.
The Three Key Elements: A voluntary and open exchange of information between the participants.
A pledge by the Team to reach an out-of-court settlement and not to litigate. If the Team is unsuccessful in resolving the issues, all members of the Team are discharged.
A commitment to respect the parties’ individual and shared goals.
What is the Collaborative Process?
The Collaborative Process uses informal discussions and conferences attended by both parties and their attorneys in an atmosphere of honesty, cooperation, integrity, transparency, and professionalism.
It requires that both parties, with the assistance of their attorneys, provide all pertinent documents and information relating to the issues to be settled, and that they work together toward a shared resolution.
Decision-making meetings of all members of the Team are scheduled with agendas in place and agreed agendas are followed.
Who is on the Team?
The Collaborative Team is a combination of specifically trained individuals with whom the parties work to resolve their disputes. In addition to the respective attorneys who will provide advocacy for their clients, the Team includes a neutral financial expert and a neutral mental health professional.
The financial professional will assist in gathering and analyzing the necessary financial data to educate the parties about their particular financial situation. The financial professional may meet with each party and each attorney in preparation for the group sessions.
The mental health professional will guide the process and provide direction in addressing the restructuring of the family. Elements pertaining to each specific party and the parenting plan can be addressed as assigned tasks.