Win Win is what Collaborative Process is, more clients are choosing a more harmonious option to separate / divorce. The collaborative practice is productive rather than destructive. It’s a way of reaching an agreement between divorcing clients. This process according to the International Academy of Collaborative professionals (IACP) “provides you and your spouse or partner with the support and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court”.
Equally clients are able to access the proficiency of the financial neutral and family consultant, who as part of the collaborative team work with the lawyers and clients together as a non-adversarial process that effectively works through differences and disputes.
The involvement of the family professional helps coach the clients and contain the emotions during a very stressful time. The family professional will also support and guide clients to maintain a healthy relationship especially where children are involved. If necessary the family professional will refer the children to a child specialist if there are any concerns. The family professional will help manage the emotions related to the financial concerns and will help create a child-focused parenting plan.
The financial professional is to help ease the financial stress. The clients, after disclosing all the financial information will then come to a team meeting where an agreement will be made with the financial facts the team has. This includes everything the clients will make their decisions on, for example, assets, liabilities, income, taxes, budgets, child expenses and more. The financial neutral does not make recommendations as this process is for the clients to come up with their own agreement.
Everyone agrees that this process is about reaching a settlement and this is where the team will encourage transparency, respect and commitment. This is what is usually missing from other processes.
The cost of this process depends on how the clients participate in the process. Although the collaborative process can be a bit more expensive than mediation process, it is a great deal less then negotiating settlement or litigation and trial.
The core elements to this process are to:
✓ Negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution without having courts decide issues.
✓ Maintain open communication and information sharing.
✓ Create shared solutions acknowledging the highest priorities of all.
✓ In the case of couples with children, it helps them move towards a positive co-parenting relationship.