Inter-disciplinary Collaborative Divorce, seeks to integrate all the professional resources that divorcing spouses typically need to address all of the dimensions of divorce. Each divorcing spouse has a mental health professional who acts as a Collaborative Coach and helps deal with emotions (such as anxiety, fear, and anger), improve communication skills (including listening skills), develop parenting and transition plans, and address other needs and concerns. Where children are involved, a neutral Collaborative Child Specialist assesses their needs and concerns, communicates observations to the divorcing parents, and helps the parents develop skills and strategies to address the effects of the divorce transition on their children. A neutral Collaborative Financial Specialist helps with the assembly and analysis of financial data, budgeting, property division, and planning for the divorce transition and beyond. The Collaborative Attorney for each spouse helps each understand the legal requirements affecting their divorce, helps them develop options for negotiation of issues and assess the ramifications of each option, and participates with the spouses in settlement discussions aimed at achieving mutually acceptable outcomes. The Collaborative Attorneys then draft the pleadings and other documents to be filed with court to implement the agreements reached by the spouses.
The extent to which particular divorcing spouses will utilize each of the professionals will be adapted to their particular circumstances.
All members of the Collaborative Divorce Alliance of Greater New Orleans have had collaborative training and are members of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“IACP”). The IACP website, which provides a wealth of helpful information, can be found at http://www.collaborativepractice.com.