The answer is yes. Here are some benefits to expect from teams in Collaborative Divorce.
The number of professionals trained in Collaborative Divorce and Mediation skills is growing throughout the world. The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals membership has grown from 200 members in 2001 to over 5,000 members today. These professionals consist primarily of Attorneys, Financial Specialists, Divorce Coaches and Child Specialists. In addition to their licensure, they are trained in interest-based negotiation, active-listening, and addressing conflict in a non-combative way.
Local practice groups are formed so these professionals can attend educational presentations and learn how to best work with couples who want to resolve their issues in a respectful and dignified manner outside of court. These professionals share common values pertaining to families and divorce. With collaborative teamwork, there is an emphasis on conflict resolution in a transformative manner. The shared goal is to promote constructive change, not just immediate solutions. The practice groups develop protocols on how to get started and approach each case.
Through experience working together on committees and on cases, these professionals develop trust with one another and can convey confidence to clients that they believe they will be able to help the parties reach a resolution.
There is cooperation among professionals, not the atmosphere of scheming or backstabbing that is frequently seen in combative divorce professionals. The team coordinates case management so one or more of the professionals is available to work on some aspect of the case at any given time.
With a case manager, there is someone coordinating the work. For example, the financial professional may be working the clients to gather documentation and develop budgets, while the coach is working on a parenting plan, and the attorneys are drafting settlement agreements.
Team members bring different strengths to the case. Legal, financial, and emotional – which professional can best address a particular issue or problem to be solved? These team members bring their particular expertise and their own personalities and strengths to contribute to the teamwork with clients. The professionals are working toward a united goal and using similar training to function as a team in working with clients. As a result, the clients can experience the coordination and support of the team. This teamwork enables the clients to work through their issues in a non-combative manner while working toward resolution so they can move forward with their lives in a positive manner.