The Collaborative Attorney

Collaborative lawyers are not hired guns. They do not threaten, insult, or focus on past wrongs or the negative. Your Collaborative attorney will encourage and support you to identify and achieve goals which will result in amicable settlement by:

  • assisting you in gathering and analyzing information;
  • helping you examine needs and interests to develop settlement options and packages;
  • helping you evaluate possible solutions;
  • helping you evaluate settlement options in the context of established legal precedent;
  • preparing and filing the necessary documentation which will ultimately result in entry of a Final Judgment of Divorce.

Collaborative Financial Professional

Frequently one party in the divorce is less informed when it comes to the family finances. That party may react in a number of ways: terror, curiosity, feeling overwhelmed. When that is the case, it is essential to bring a Financial Neutral into the process.  The Financial Neutral will be beneficial by presenting financial issues and information in an understandable, unbiased format. For the first time in their financial lives the parties may be able to look at their finances in a safe and non-threatening environment. The Financial Neutral will:

  • gather financial data;
  • prepare statements of net worth;
  • develop different financial/support scenarios for clients to evaluate;
  • provide financial guidance, planning, support and budgeting throughout the divorce process, with follow up as needed;
  • explain the tax implications and consequences of alternative scenarios;
  • assist in evaluating your assets and debt.

Collaborative Neutral Facilitator

A  Neutral Facilitator is a licensed Mental Health Professional with specialized training in the Collaborative process. Neutral Facilitators add expertise by way of facilitating helpful and healthful communication among the spouses.  In doing so, Neutral Facilitator:

  • helps you develop and reinforce effective communication skills;
  • helps your awareness and perspective on relationship dynamics, including identifying and navigating emotional triggers;
  • helps the couple avoid and  manage emotional impasses;
  • helps to emotionally prepare the couple  for the Collaborative meetings;
  • helps families with children develop parenting plans and co-parenting strategies/skills to support the transition to two households.

How to choose a Collaborative Attorney?

Choosing a Collaborative Attorney is an important decision. The right professional will guide you through the Collaborative process.

Questions to Ask:

  • How long have you been involved with divorce/family law?
  • How long have you been collaboratively trained, and approximately how many cases have you been involved with?
  • What percentage of your work consists of non-litigation cases?
  • What do you see as the benefits of proceeding collaboratively  vs. litigating?
  • Are you a member of the Next Generation Divorce ?
  • In your opinion, what are the main reasons why some cases are not resolved collaboratively?
  • What is your hourly rate?
  • Will you provide me with an itemized monthly bill?
  • If I have a question about my case, can I call you? How quickly can I expect to have my calls returned?
  • Can you name a few things I can do that will make my case go more smoothly?
  • What do you expect from me?
  • What documents will I need to provide?

Qualities to Seek:

  • An attorney you feel comfortable working with and in whom you have confidence.
  • An attorney who will explain the process and applicable law in terms you understand.
  • An attorney who is accessible and responsive to you.
  • An attorney who specializes in matrimonial/divorce or family law and who has in-depth experience in the field.

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Next Generation Divorce, P.O. Box 21775, Tampa, FL 33622

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