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What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative Law is a less costly emotional and financial way to divorce.  It is the most advantageous way to divorce that considers all family members.  To learn more about the Collaborative Law process and the roles of a Coach and Childcare Specialist, please read Collaborative divorce: An oxymoron?  When considering Collaborative Law, it is important to understand all divorce or process options.

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Trauma, Multicultural & Social Justice Informed Services 


All services are trauma, multicultural and social justice informed.  Services are trauma-informed which means cultivating a relationship built on trust and compassion based on not what is wrong with you but understanding your experience and what happened to you.  Reasonable accommodations are likely to be permitted upon request.  Furthermore,  each service is integrated with education on the effects, prevention, and recovery of trauma.   Only therapy services include the treatment of trauma.  Multicultural and social justice informed means that biases (which we all have) that discriminates against a person's age (ageism), gender (sexism and heterosexism), race (racism), religion,  sexual orientation, socioeconomic status (classism) or disability (ableism and disableism) may be discussed openly or privately in hopes to ensure fairness and equality, increase awareness, strengthen relationships and enhance services.   Services are culturally sensitive (considerate and welcoming of the client's and other stakeholders culture) and will work collaboratively with those from diverse backgrounds to ensure services are rendered with cultural competence.  Social justice-informed also refers to tending to larger systemic social inequalities (issues related to power and privilege) that can manifest during the rendering of services, which may also be appropriately addressed in order to ensure fairness and equality, increase awareness, strengthen relationships and enhance services.   


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Tell Me about Your Experience

Next, I want to hear your story.  Divorce Mediation is a delicate process that requires time and commitment and strives to consider the well-being of all those affected. Therefore, giving everyone a voice is important.  Parents and children will be asked to draft a 2 page single-spaced document of their experience. The format for this letter is as follows; (1) how was family life prior to the divorce/separation, (2) what you believed caused the divorce or separation, (3) how have things been since the decision to divorce/separate was made and (4  are there any ground rules they would like to implement during the mediation process, which is for the parents. . Children of the divorcing parents will be asked to write about (1) their experience in the family; what they like and dislike about the family, (2) how they generally feel about how the family is functioning and (3) what they are hoping to see happen during this process. This process is to help create an appropriate space for venting and to capture thoughts that will assist in moving successfully through the mediation process.   It is best if the letter is typed and emailed to [email protected] or brought with you to your first mediation. 

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Divorce & Trauma

Divorce has been identified as a common traumatic event for families, particularly for children.   Trauma leads to disrupted neurodevelopment, social-emotional and cognitive impairment, an increase in risky behaviors, disease, disability, social problems, and even early death.  Although divorce is difficult, it does not need to be traumatic.  As a collaborative law professional, my goal as a Coach is to help participants prioritize their concerns, process their feelings and differences in healthy ways, stay focused on their goals by neutralizing or minimizing destructive emotions, communicate effectively with each other, with their lawyers, and with their children, and provide them with tools for positive co-parenting in their post-separation lives.  As a Child Specialist,  my job is to understand the unique needs of your child(ren) and ensure their needs are brought to the table, prevent them from being "in the middle" and educate parents on relevant child development issues.  I also help to reduce the traumatic effect divorce can have on parents and their children.  


The key to being productive during the divorcing process begins with you, the parents.  Here are some initial helpful resources that can assist you with how to start moving forward; six conflict management skills, co-parenting, The Collaborative wat to Divorce and Our Family Wizard.  

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Preventing Toxic Stress from Undermining your Life, Relationships and the Mediation Process 

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Don't let toxic stress undermine your life, relationship, and the collaborative law process.  

Your health, well-being and parental adjustment (psychological adjustment of parents which significantly impact children's well-being) are key components to a productive mediation process, its outcome and moving forward in your life.   This health questionnaire can help guide you on tending to areas of your life that facilitate healthy brain development and functioning and will better help you to be emotionally and psychologically prepared for meetings.  It is recommended that you seek counseling for you and or your children during this difficult time.  You can either ask your mediation for a referral or go to PsychologyToday.  Participating in a divorce support group can be beneficial as well; Divorce Care.

Learn More

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Central Documents and Definitions

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Preparing for Mediation

The centerpiece of the Collaborative Law process is the parenting plan.   Here is an example parenting plan for your convenience.   Be prepared to review the Collaborative Law agreement (a contractual agreement that outlines fees, procedures, and responsibilities) in the first meeting.  Completing the client profile will be the next steps after your initial meeting.   You may also refer to the library for more helpful resources.  



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