How Is This Different?
I represented a client in a Collaborative Divorce who recently asked me how a meeting with me, the neutral Financial Professional and the client was any different from doing it the regular way. I had to admit, it seemed a lot like a caucus to me and I answered accordingly. It isn’t. We promote the Collaborative Process as different from the traditional way of doing things and then we fall into the trap of litigation methods.
Having separate meetings with one Collaborative attorney, the neutral Financial Professional and one client leads to positional thinking; it creates sides, an “us vs. them” environment.
One of the many benefits of the Collaborative Process is that it is a multi-disciplinary process, addressing all the aspects of divorce; legal, financial and emotional. The couple works with the professional who has the expertise in the area at issue, making the process more efficient and cost-effective. It makes much more sense for the couple to meet together with the financial professional without their lawyers.
The Collaborative Process is different from the traditional way of doing things. It is an interest-based approach. It requires teamwork. And each member of the team must trust the other members. Attorneys should do their jobs and allow the neutrals to do theirs.