Who Are The Members of The Collaborative Divorce Team and What Do They Do?
Marcy Jones was one of the very first family law attorneys in Lynchburg to be trained in Collaborative Divorce, and she now has years of experience in using the process of collaborative divorce for her clients. If you’re interested in Collaborative Divorce Law, please call Marcy at 434-845-2463 to learn how it fits in as one of your options for divorce in Virginia. The Collaborative Divorce process is supported by a team of professionals. Here’s a description of the Collaborative Divorce Team.
What is the Collaborative Divorce Team?
This is an emerging field of collaborative law which provides a collaborative divorce team consisting of two lawyers, two divorce coaches, a child specialist and a financial specialist to help the couple. Believe it or not, this team of six can be more cost effective than the conventional method of divorce.
Keep in mind that divorce affects couples on multiple levels. Divorce is a complex event involving legal, emotional, and financial considerations. When children are involved, there are the additional needs of developing appropriate parenting plans and learning communication skills so the couple can effectively co-parent their children.
In the traditional way of divorcing, lawyers have handled all of these tasks. But since lawyers are not therapists, or accountants, or child specialists, what happens is the divorce becomes final, but many issues remain unresolved. Because these issues are not resolved at the time of the legal divorce, they often continue to be litigated and re-litigated for years.
To remedy this, the Collaborative Divorce Team model uses a collaborative team to help the couple on all levels toward one goal: to maximize the benefit to the family.
Who are the Collaborative Divorce Team members and what are their roles?
Collaborative Law Attorney—has specialized training in the collaborative process and interest-based negotiation, serves to educate their client through the process, advocates for their client, provides legal advice, and helps the client to generate and evaluate options for resolution.
Divorce Coach—a licensed mental health professional with specialized training in collaborative practice who helps the clients and the collaborative professionals to communicate effectively within the process. This person does not act as a therapist in the process but rather helps to manage emotional and psychological issues so the process can move along smoothly.
Child Specialist—a licensed mental health professional with specific training in family systems and child development. This person helps the parents and the professionals involved to stay focused on the needs and feelings of any children involved, and to develop an effective co-parenting plan.
Financial Counselor—a neutral financial specialist who helps clients to gather, organize, value and understand their financial information and to clarify their financial interests and goals. This person is a certified financial planner, chartered financial consultant, certified divorce planner or certified public accountant, with additional training in divorce and family law issues.
Marcy Jones is a member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals, the Virginia Association of Collaborative Professionals, and Collaborative Professionals of Central Virginia.