ROLES OF PARTICIPATING PROFESSIONALS
THE ROLE OF THE COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE ATTORNEY
Each spouse has a collaborative divorce attorney to assist and guide them through the divorce process. In individual meetings between each party and their attorney and in joint sessions with both attorneys and both parties, the attorneys contract to:
- Advocate for and represent the best interests of their client while focusing on the overall goal of the collaborative process.
- Cooperate and work with the other collaborative divorce attorney and the entire collaborative team (whatever its makeup) to help the parties design a settlement agreement that is the most appropriate for their family.
- Model and facilitate the settlement discussions and draft all client agreements into the final proposed Decree so that the document complies with Nebraska law.
THE ROLE OF THE COLLABORATIVE FINANCIAL EXPERT
The final divorce settlement will in part determine your financial well-being for many years to come. The collaborative team financial expert works with the couple to:
- Provide the couple with on-going, practical financial guidance, planning, support, and budgeting guidance throughout the divorce process.
- Assist in reviewing all assets and income.
- Ensure that both spouses have thorough understanding of their current financial situation.
- Educate the spouses regarding the short and long-term economic consequences of settlement plans that are being considered, thus enabling them to make fully informed decisions and choose what is most appropriate for their family.
The Role of the Collaborative Child Specialist
Children may suffer most from divorce and be least able to understand or explain their feelings. The collaborative team child specialist will work with the children and their parents to:
- Provide the children with the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding divorce.
- Provide the parents with information and guidance to help their children through the process.
- Give information to the spouses and the collaborative team that will help them in developing an effective co-parenting plan for their children.
THE ROLE OF THE COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE COACH
Both parties will usually have a collaborative divorce coach. Divorce coaches are licensed mental health professionals in the state of Nebraska. In individual and joint sessions, the coaches work with the couple to:
- Identify and prioritize the concerns of each spouse.
- Make effective use of conflict resolution and communication skills.
- Develop effective co-parenting skills.
- Work collaboratively with the spouses, their attorneys, and other involved professionals to improve communication, manage the pain and strain of the changing relationship, reduce misunderstandings and solve problems as they come up.
Coaches work with the parties to make the most of their individual strengths and assist them to be their best during the divorce process and on into the future. The collaborative divorce process has demonstrated that the family can get through divorce in a more emotionally healthy way when the couple is able to learn how to interact and communicate with each other in a more respectful, honest and open manner. Communication and self-management skills are taught to parents by their coaches. The spouses use these new skills in their settlement discussions and in their post divorce co-parenting.