You should expect to sign an agreement that would commit you to first of all, to be completely open and complete in disclosing all financial and other information that’s relevant to the process of termination of marriage. You would also be committing to try to work toward decisions with the assistance of your collaborative team. Decisions that would be related to division of assets and liabilities, establishment of support for the other spouse or the children, and also to the agreements relating to the parenting and the plan for the children.
First of all, on the financial front you’d be assisted by a neutral who would help you provide the documents that will be necessary for the neutral to analyze the family finances and present a description of the marital estate and the family sources of cash flow in order to help you start to see the big picture and assist in generating options to divide the assets and liabilities and establish reasonable cash flow for both households.
So then the team would be helping you to generate various options available to you and to pick those that are right for you. But ultimately would be making those decisions. If you have children, the coach would be assisting you to put together your plans as to the care and control of the children, and of course the attorneys and financial neutral would also be providing legal and financial information as to the financial terms for the children.
Once you have come to agreements through a series of first of all, communications with your attorney, communications with the neutrals, and also meetings of the team then the attorneys would draft up the legal documents to incorporate your decisions and those documents would be reviewed by you, approved by you, filed with the court, and the matter would be set for a final hearing that would end your marriage. In the collaborative process we often use a private judge for that final hearing, which is convenient and also just really appropriate given the fact that you’ve engaged in a private process all the way along.