Communicating with the Professional Team
If is less common today for Collaborative Divorce cases to have everyone meeting in person as it is now possible to meet online and use professionals from different areas of Southern California or even different areas of the state.
Having effective communication by email is vital to the collaborative process. It is important to include everybody on the team for each email, do not forget to “cc” a professional who needs to know status of the process or is expected to be providing relevant information and input. Talking and sharing information with the entire team is beneficial for the clients. If you are unsure whether a certain professional needs to be involved in the subject at hand, it is best to include them on the communication any way as their input may be valuable in the future and they will need to be up to speed on the topic. Ensuring all professionals are included in the email correspondence can prevent the embarrassing situation where a topic is brought up in a full team meeting for discussion with the clients present, and one of the professionals is in the dark about it because they were not included in those communications.
Conversations with your Collaborative Attorney
I always have a one-on-one conversation with my client to discuss their current concerns, their future goals, and any topics that are keeping them awake at night as they go through the stressful process of divorce. We also discuss the realities of being able to achieve what their perfect post-divorce life might look like. Sometimes the collaborative attorney and client need to have private conversations about what is a reasonable settlement and what is more akin to seeking revenge on the other spouse. Collaborative attorneys also work with the client to manage expectations and prepare them ready for the team meetings where the client will be negotiating with the spouse. These are the types of conversations that remain between the client and the collaborative attorney and it helps the collaborative attorney and the client build a good working relationship.
Conversations with the Neutral Professionals
The Divorce Coach is a valuable resource for the client – this professional is trained to help the client express their needs and concerns appropriately to their spouse and also teach the client how to listen to their spouse’s needs and concerns in return to have the most productive full team meetings and settlement negotiations.
There Financial Neutral is another valuable resource for the client, especially when the finances are complex, and the client may have little knowledge about the situation and is distrustful of the spouse who has controlled the money during the marriage.
One of the primary causes of divorce is a breakdown in communication – when two people stop listening to each other and stop caring about each other and tune each other out. In a Collaborative Divorce, it is important to talk with your attorney, other members of the team and most importantly with your spouse. Good communication will result in reaching agreement on key issues and a final resolution while saving time and money and avoiding a court battle.