Process Road Map
Process Road Map
INTRODUCE COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE TO YOUR SPOUSE.
Both of you must choose Collaborative Divorce. Your Collaborative Attorney can help you brainstorm ways to inform your spouse about Collaborative Divorce. If your relationship is cordial, you can share information about the process and website references, especially since your spouse might appreciate the information from a source other than you. 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 experts, such as a Neutral Financial Expert and Neutral Facilitator, for the team 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.
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
- Child Support
- Everything Else: Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, domestic violence issues, restraining orders, special consideration such as college education costs, etc.
BRAINSTORM AND DEVELOP SETTLEMENT OPTIONS.
In a joint meeting, the team brainstorms settlement options, and the Neutral Financial Expert creates projections to help 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 to sign. Your team will develop a plan and help you implement it. The agreement is legally binding, but you do not need to appear in court to finalize the divorce.