Process Road Map

  • Introduce Collaborative Practice to Your Spouse.

    It is important for both of you to agree that Collaborative is the best process to get through your divorce. If your relationship with your partner is cordial, you can give him or her information about the process and the website references. Your partner might be more likely to appreciate the information if it comes from a source other than you. Brainstorm ideas with the Collaborative professional you interview for ways to inform your partner about Collaborative divorce. You know your partner better than anyone. Think about what approach would be most effective in introducing the Collaborative process to your partner.

  • Retain and meet in private, face-to-face talks with your attorney.

    All meetings are intended to produce an honest exchange of information and clear understanding about needs and expectations, especially concerning the well being of children.

  • Assemble Your Team.

    Your attorney can help recommend other specially trained professional members of the team, such as a Neutral Financial Expert and Neutral Facilitator, based on your unique personalities and goals.

  • Schedule first joint meeting.

    At this meeting, you and your spouse, along with your personal collaborative team of professionals, set goals, agree on temporary child sharing and financial arrangements, and decide if additional expertise is needed. For example, you may want to jointly engage an appraiser to value a home and/or business.

  • Gather information.

    The Neutral Facilitator works with you and your spouse to develop a parenting plan, while the Neutral Financial Expert collects and presents data regarding income, expenses, assets and debts. The so-called PEACE  Process proceeds as follows:

    • Parenting Plan: (Special needs of the children, time sharing, visitation, paternity, child custody)
    • Equitable Distribution of Property
    • Alimony
    • Child Support
    • Everything Else: Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, domestic violence issues, restraining order, etc.
  • Brainstorm and Develop Settlement Options.

    In a joint meeting, the team brainstorms settlement options, and the Neutral Financial Expert creates projections for each option to help you compare, modify and choose which option best suits your goals.

  • Draft and Implement Settlement Agreement.

    Your attorney will draft the written agreement, and your Neutral Financial Expert will prepare the required court forms for you to sign. Your team will develop an implementation plan and help you with the next steps. The agreement is legally binding, but you do not need to appear in court to finalize the divorce.