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What Is Collaborative Divorce


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What Is Collaborative Divorce

  1. 1. What Is Collaborative Divorce?
  2. 2. Divorce in Nebraska <ul><li>6,084 divorces in 2009 in Nebraska. </li></ul><ul><li>45% of cases were people in their 30s. </li></ul><ul><li>One in four divorces terminated marriages of 3 years or less. </li></ul><ul><li>Half were married fewer than 7 years. </li></ul><ul><li>51% involved couples with children. (5,790 children affected by divorce.) </li></ul><ul><li>– Source: Nebraska Health and Human Services VitalStats Report 2009 [issued Oct. 2010] </li></ul>
  3. 3. What Is Collaborative Divorce? <ul><li>Each spouse in the divorce is represented by their own attorney, but both parties agree to focus their efforts on reaching an amicable settlement. </li></ul><ul><li>Goal is a “Win/Win” outcome, not “Winner” and “Loser” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Collaborative Agreement <ul><li>Parties agree to: </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement without going to court. </li></ul><ul><li>Start over completely (new attorneys) if either party decides to go to court. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate openly and share information in good faith, with total transparency. </li></ul><ul><li>Work together to create shared solutions. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Collaborative Divorce vs. Litigation vs. Mediation <ul><li>Collaborative: Team approach; each party has an attorney, but focus is on reaching a settlement together. </li></ul><ul><li>Litigation: Adversarial process with two attorneys. Unresolved issues decided by judge. </li></ul><ul><li>Mediation: Cooperative -- one mediator works with both parties. Mediator may be attorney, therapist, or layperson. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Collaborative Team
  7. 7. Role of the Attorney <ul><li>Each party has a lawyer trained in the collaborative process. Guides client through legal issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Files the court-related paperwork (mostly at the end, when settlement reached). </li></ul>
  8. 8. Role of the Divorce Coach <ul><li>Each party has a divorce coach. </li></ul><ul><li>Coach is a mental health therapist (generally a counselor, social worker, or marriage and family therapist) </li></ul><ul><li>Helps sort through emotional issues and get parties “unstuck” when problems arise. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Role of the Financial Specialist <ul><li>Couples share one financial specialist. Typically a CPA, Certified Financial Planner, or Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. </li></ul><ul><li>Neutral party. </li></ul><ul><li>Assesses financial issues (assets, debts, cash flow) and advises the couple on property settlements and tax implications. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Role of the Child Specialist <ul><li>Couples share one child specialist. </li></ul><ul><li>Mental health specialist with expertise in child development. </li></ul><ul><li>Neutral party — does not decide. Advises and guides both parties. </li></ul><ul><li>Meets with children and parents separately. Helps develop custody arrangements / parenting plan. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Costs & Timelines <ul><li>Costs: Even with team, often costs less than litigation with agreement between the parties. (Fewer filing fees; no discovery, witness fees, subpoenas, court reporter fees, etc.) Can cost more than mediated divorces. </li></ul><ul><li>Timelines: Parties and collaborative team decide time frame, not judges. </li></ul>
  12. 12. How to Get Started/ Find Out More Information <ul><li>“ Second Saturday” – held on second Saturday of each month </li></ul><ul><li>Website for Nebraska Academy of Collaborative Professionals: </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: (402) 991-3424 </li></ul>