I am a member of the Collaborative Family Separation Professionals in Victoria, which brings lawyers and various other helping professionals together to offer separating couples an attractive alternative to adversarial legal processes.
I’ll meet you there.Rumi
Collaborative family law differs from other dispute resolution methods (eg. mediation), in that each party signs a participation agreement preventing them from going to court and thereby providing an incentive to stay with the negotiation process until a mutually satisfactory resolution is reached. When the threat of court is removed, and couples are offered a team of professionals who treat both of them respectfully and compassionately regardless of which party they are supporting, a climate of emotional safety is created and everyone is free to focus on understanding and meeting the needs of all concerned.
My role on the collaborative separation team is to act either as a child specialist or a divorce coach, depending on what is being requested. I have taken the necessary collaborative family law training programs to join our Victoria group, which includes lawyers, financial specialists and mental health professionals. I have also found my training in non-violent communication to be especially valuable in facilitating communication processes that enable feelings and needs to be clearly expressed and understood.
In situations where a formal collaborative separation approach is not possible or feasible, it can be very helpful to work with a team in a mediation process, or within a lawyer-assisted negotiation process in which the participants do not wish to go to court. I have experience participating in these processes as both a child specialist and as a divorce coach. Provided that both parties are striving to negotiate in good faith, a team approach can dramatically improve the quality of life for the family post-separation. I do this work because when the family is supported during separation, then outcomes for the children are better. We know that in situations where there is an angry, hostile, distant relationship between separated parents, or there is open warfare, and where a healthy parental alliance is replaced by parallel parenting built on parenting disputes, children are at an increased risk for emotional and behavioral difficulties as they mature and the toll of managing these incredibly stressful circumstances catches up with them.
Please note that my role is limited to assisting parents who are able to engage in a process of communicating and negotiating a separation agreement and a parenting plan. I do not write reports for court nor do I conduct evaluations to determine parenting time and schedules. My services are more fully described under the headings of child specialist and divorce coach.
If you and your partner would like to pursue a collaborative separation process, I urge you to visit our website: www.collaborativefamilylawgroup.com. Here you will find what you need to know about the benefits of working together with a team to create a separation agreement that fully considers the needs of everyone in your family. Although it may seem costly to work with several professionals, it is important to consider the benefits of engaging with professionals who have expertise in their given fields. It is the financial specialists and the mental health professionals in our group who can best assist you with the financial, emotional, parenting and child-related concerns that are part of the separation process. In this way, the legal costs of a separation can be contained.