Welcome to Our Family in Two Homes!
Maybe you're here feeling exhausted. Like you've climbed a mountain. But you've finally reached a decision point. Separation. regardless of how and when you got here, there is a good chance emotions are running high for both you and your former partner.
Our Family in Two Homes' guiding principle is "Never cut what can be untied." Think of your relationship as a rope. In a rope, a good knot can strengthen the connection, build trust and support a lot of weight. But, when trust and connection are challenged, separating couples face a challenging decision: "Do I cut and run, or do the work of untangling this painful know?" Congratulations on making the decision to "untie" rather than "cut".
Through a combination of self-reflection and practical legal information, this workbook will help you prepare to make decisions that will help your family make a healthy transition to two homes. Use this workbook as your personal journal. Throughout this process, you may be asked to share what you learned about yourself, but you will never be asked to hand in your workbook. This isn't a test, and you're not being marked. Your lawyer, divorce coach or financial neutral wants you to be empowered and supported to make the best decisions for your future.
Collaborative Process – Sample Steps for Our Family in Two Homes / A Few Homes
Part 1 - Starting the Collaborative Process
This stage would not change much except for the messaging around how this Resource helps clients productively and meaningfully engage in their process. The workbook is the resource that helps the client prepare for their work with all members of the CP Team.
No matter which professional “gets the case going”, there will be 2 CP lawyers and 2 clients who choose CP, so the lawyers give the clients the client workbook that includes the law. The professional team just needs to follow along with their own copy of the workbook.
If you are in someone who offers Process Options meetings, then this meeting offers the ideal opportunity to introduce the workbook and explain how it will enhance the clients’ ability to work effectively to reach agreement, with their spouse and with the team.
Screening for appropriateness, and for safety (DV or IPV) still has to happen in whatever form your practice group takes.
ROLES: The roles of the collaborative professionals does not have to change – the Client Workbook helps the clients prepare for the work they do with all of us and gives the professional team a framework for working together.
Part 2: Using the Workbooks in Collaborative Practice
Confirm that your professional team agrees to use the workbooks to support the client’s work with them, and instruct the clients as follows:
SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONS TO CLIENTS FROM LAWYERS
Step 1: Working with your own Workbook. Spend time on your own reading through the Workbook and jot down your thoughts or questions. You do not need to share your answers with your partner. What you write in the Workbook is for your own reflection. Our sessions together will offer the opportunity for appropriately sharing the things you need your former partner to understand about you, and your hopes and thoughts for the future.
As you read through the Workbook, consider which topics might be more challenging to work out with your former partner. You might not agree on what needs the most attention. This is normal. The collaborative team will support you both in the areas where you need help. It is different for each separating couple.
Step 2: Preparing for Meetings.
I am your collaborative lawyer and NAME is your partner’s collaborative lawyer. The other members of the collaborative team are NAMES & ROLES. Together, we will work to help you identify your needs, concerns and hopes for your family’s future, and to gather the information you need to make good decisions and reach agreement.
Step 3: Joint Sessions:
When you are both ready, we will schedule a joint session with both of you and the collaborative team. NOTE: Add description for how you will deal with prep for joint meetings and what each member of the team will do.
Step 4: Decide what else is needed.
After the first joint session, we will assess where things stand and make a decision about which topics or challenges need more attention. We will clarify what information needs to be exchanged, make a plan for dealing with each area needing discussion.
Step 5: Subsequent Meetings.
Sometimes we will meet all together in joint sessions. Other times, you will meet individually with your own lawyer, or the Coach/Child Specialist or the Financial Professional. This process is intended to be flexible to most effectively meet your needs. The exercises and information in the workbooks relate to the practical, psychological, financial and legal aspects of your separation, so there is common framework for the work you will do with all of us. Be sure to bring your workbook with you to all of your collaborative meetings.
Documenting Your Agreement:
Once you reach agreement, we will work out together what needs to be documented in order to record your agreement. We will discuss fees in advance so there are no surprises.
We look forward to working with you to help your family make a healthy transition to two homes.