What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative Divorce is a method of alternate dispute resolution in which a team of lawyers, mental health professionals, and financial specialists work together to assist the divorcing parties to resolve conflicts through a cooperative, collaborative approach that eliminates destructive litigation. With the support of the lawyers, divorce coaches, child specialists, and financial specialists, the parties work together towards constructive, fair, and transparent communication that results in decisions that help to minimize discord and emotional damage to the children. Additionally, Collaborative Divorce may save thousands of dollars, if both parties are committed to a healthy, fair divorce (US News & World Report; August 19, 2013).
As a Child Specialist in Collaborative Divorce cases, I work as a neutral professional that will help the parents focus on the needs of the child by bringing their concerns into the process, thereby giving them a voice. With my knowledge and expertise in the area of child development and grief, I can help parents to understand the needs of their child at this and future developmental stages. Additional support is offered in the creation of the parenting time plan and with co-parenting support. The length of time that a Child Specialist is involved is determined by the needs of the child and the length of the divorce process. Finally, the Child Specialist is not intended to replace the child's therapist; the Child Specialist's role is strictly for support for divorce-related matters.