According to the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) – What makes Collaborative Practice unique?
Collaborative Practice is a voluntary process in which parties settle disputes without resorting to litigation. In Collaborative Practice:
1. The parties sign a collaborative participation agreement describing the nature and scope of the matter;
2. The parties voluntarily disclose all information that is relevant and material to the matter that must be decided;
3. The parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement;
4. Each party must be represented by a lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding;
5. The parties may engage financial professionals and professionals who support the emotional, communication, and parenting components of the divorce,* whose engagement terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding;
6. The parties may jointly engage other experts as needed.
In Collaborative Practice, each person, including the professionals, commit to:
• Negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution without having courts decide issues.
• Maintain open communication and information sharing throughout the process.
• Create shared solutions acknowledging the highest priorities of all.
The Collaborative Divorce Process is based on the belief that families can get through the divorce process in a healthy and more productive manner. The parties will learn how to interact and respectfully communicate with one another. Communication and self-management skills are taught to the couple by the Collaborative Divorce Coach. The couple will then use the new skills in their settlement discussions and their post-divorce communication.
A Collaborative Divorce Coach will work as a member of a Collaborative Divorce Team. The team of professionals consists of two collaboratively trained lawyers, one mental health professional/coach, and one financial professional. This process will allow families to resolve family law disputes without needing to go to court. The team of professionals will work with the clients to develop a mutually agreed-upon settlement. If the family has minor children, the team will also work with the family to develop an agreed-upon parenting plan that will consider the needs of the children. The goal of Collaborative Practice is to resolve all aspects of their family law disputes in a confidential, respectful manner, with the parties making the decisions for themselves.