The Team Approach involves engaging one or more professionals (other than the two attorneys) in the collaborative process to directly address the needs of the family involved. The professionals are jointly retained by the parties and are neutral. Generally, they attend all of the full team meetings and additionally, work with the clients in “off-line” or non-team meetings without the lawyers. The “off-line” meetings between the professional and the clients can make the process more efficient, cost effective, and productive. The neutral professionals are essential in facilitating an agreement between the parties and are trained to handle the emotional, financial, and legal complexities of a family law matter.
- The neutral mental health professional serves as a communication facilitator in the team meetings and works offline with the parties on the parenting plan and other communication issues.
- The neutral financial professional gathers financial information, assists the clients in processing the information, discusses the pros and cons of other professionals such as home appraisers and business valuators, and assists the clients in developing options for dividing the estate, support of the children, and any spouse.
- Other possible professionals: Child Specialist, Business Valuator, Education Specialist