You may be referred into a collaborative process by your collaboratively trained psychologist, financial professional or lawyer.
Each party must engage a lawyer who has been specially trained in collaboration and who is able to help you negotiate in a way that focusses on the needs of your own family.
In collaboration, all of the negotiations happen around the table with you, your spouse and each of your lawyers present.
Once you have each briefed your lawyer and, where appropriate, met with your team psychologist and/or financial professional, the next step will be a team meeting.
Where there is a psychologist on the team, that person will chair the meetings and will also assist in resolving issues around time with children.
Where there is a financial professional involved, they will assist in helping the parties work through budgeting and household finance issues as well as presenting the financial impact of possible options for property settlement.
Prior to each meeting an agenda is developed to deal with the issues most important to the separating couple and the process culminates in the parties reaching agreement about their children and finances which is then prepared into appropriate legally binding documents.
The number of meetings required depends on the pace of the parties and the complexity of the matter. Most matters will resolve in say four team meetings.
The steps involved in the process in summary are as follows: