July 6, 2015

The Collaborative “Team”

184537901-group-of-social-networking-people-gettyimagesThe first thing that sets a Collaborative case apart is the Participation Agreement, a mindful choice by the couple to come to the table, with their support system, gather information, make informed choices, and negotiate a resolution. For a discussion of the Participation Agreement – components, importance, and significance, see my prior post:  The Participation Agreement – What’s The Big Deal?

The next hallmark of a collaborative approach is the “team.” Rather than relying on just an attorney, the couple employs other professionals in their specific areas of expertise to craft a plan for settlement of all topics and for moving forward.

Team members include all or a combination of the following, depending on the needs and choices of each couple/family: Attorneys, Financial Neutral, Child/Family Specialist, and Neutral Facilitator/Coach. Each spouse may also consult with an individual therapist, clergy, or other support people to help them through their journey, however these individuals do not become a formal part of the collaborative “team.” Additionally, the team may consult with real estate agents, mortgage brokers, mediators, or others as needed.

This team approach adds particular value to the collaborative process, and informs the process throughout. The couple benefits financially from sharing neutral specialists – rather than hiring two financial analysts they jointly hire one and share the cost (with a net result of ¼ the cost!). The couple also benefits from the team approach in the way negotiations are carried out. Joint team meetings where everyone is freely sharing relevant information are an efficient way to work towards mutually achieving both individual’s goals.

I will focus on one team member in the next series of posts, highlighting their skill-set, role in the process, and what value they bring to the couple. I will also discuss the role of the Court in a future post, as well as other additional resources that might be helpful. Stay tuned!

Anna Hagstrom, Attorney and Mediator
Hagstrom Law & Mediation, PLLC

Anna is an attorney and mediator, and founder of Hagstrom Law & Mediation, whose mission is to create peaceful, collaborative resolutions by compassionately guiding people through major life events. She is experienced in alternatives to traditional litigation, and believes it is her role to empower her clients with knowledge and confidence to make educated decisions and move forward. Learn more at www.Hagstrom-Law.com

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