In the emerging field of collaborative law, there is an approach known as the Multi-Disciplinary Model. In essence, this model provides for a collaborative divorce team consisting of two lawyers, two divorce coaches, a child specialist and a financial advisor to assist the couple. Many people may scoff at this idea, especially since one of the goals of collaborative law is to reduce the amount of cost associated with divorce. But a closer look at the multi disciplinary approach helps explain why this team of six can be more cost effective than the traditional method of divorce.
Clients may choose to involve lawyers, coaches, a child specialist and a financial adviser from the beginning. It is more common for parties to build their team as they proceed through the process, depending upon their needs. For instance, spouses may choose to engage coaches only after hitting “speed bumps” in their work with lawyers. The divorce team communicates in team meetings about the parties and the issues they are working through. Clients sign agreements with their lawyers, with any divorce coaches they retain, with the child specialist and financial specialist (if retained) that confirm no one will subpoena any professionals if the case goes out of the collaborative process. The contracts also allow the professionals to communicate freely amongst themselves to further understanding of the clients’ needs.