A Collaborative Divorce is a process of settling a divorce outside of court. It is much like a mediation, however, instead of a third-party facilitating negotiation between parties, the parties’ attorneys and a team of specifically-trained and certified neutrals come together to find solutions. When successful, a collaborative divorce can avoid financially and emotionally costly battles in court.
In a collaborative divorce, each party has attorney representation, and the team of neutrals is there to help educate and discuss the impact of possible settlements on both parties. These neutrals most often include a mental health professional and an experienced financial professional.
Although difficult at times, by encouraging open communication, the parties are encouraged to express their own positions and interests openly while the team helps them remain future-focused.
The role of the financial neutral is to be responsible for obtaining relevant financial information, managing expectations, and assisting with running various financial scenarios and outcomes. A financial neutral does not give legal advice, however, supports both parties by helping them understand their own numbers. During a team meeting, the financial neutral is present to run live illustration scenarios and discuss creative solutions.
Financial Neutrals are not able to work with clients following the dissolution of the marriage to avoid any conflict of interest.
Iowa Collaborative Divorce (www.iowacollaborativedivorce.com) and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (www.collaborativepractice.com) have more resources to help educate yourself on the process.
Julia is a trained mediator and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® and acts as a financial neutral for Collaborative Divorces in Iowa. If you or someone you know would be interested in learning more about the benefits of collaborative divorce, schedule a 15-minute introductory call with Julia today.
This post is not intended to provide specific or individual legal advice, but is for general informational purposes. Consult an attorney for legal advice.
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