For the past ten years, all of New Jersey’s collaborative practitioners have been beating their PR drums to educate and energize the public about the benefits of engaging in a collaborative divorce.
As with any campaign, managing and diffusing incorrect information about your message is vital to keeping your campaign focused, honest and believable.
Having handled, with signed participation agreements, over forty collaborative cases, I feel comfortable and obligated to realign a misconception I hear from “the others.”
Conducting and participating in a collaborative divorce has no shortcuts. It is not an abbreviated process. Our professing that this process is less expensive and takes less time is not because any vital element of financial disclosure or emotional needs is ignored. It’s because the process is streamlined, organized and done with a team mindset over a win-at-all-costs brouhaha.
Client’s complete and certify their financial statements. Copies of all statements for checking, savings, retirement, brokerage, etc., etc. are produced and cross-checked. If necessary, pensions, business interests, portfolios, stocks and restricted stocks, etc. etc. are professionally evaluated to determine values for equitable distribution.
With a divorce coach’s special assistance, custody and detailed and thoughtful parenting plans are crafted and implemented.
And finally, your collaborative lawyer is your advocate. I constantly strive to achieve my client’s realistic goals within the process while, sometimes with great effort, managing their expectations of the process, how long it will take and how much it will cost.
The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) will be hosting their annual conference in October in Washington, D.C. in which we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Stu Webb’s initiation of the collaborative practice. There is always more to learn, training to attend and public branding to promote, but there are no short cuts.