Collaborative Practice


Visit the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay


Divorce can be difficult and some might even say itís the worst time in a personís life.The reconfiguring of a family can be tragic enough and the legal battle only adds more pain into the process.The court system at times becomes a battleground and the process only adds confusion, anger, feelings of loss and heightened conflict.Sometimes the battle goes on and on and seems virtually endless.


But it doesnít have to be this way.A relatively new concept has emerged from the ashes where couples work with a team of professionals.The team can consist of lawyers, mental health professionals and financial experts who are trained to design a constructive solution to issues related to a parting couple.This is called the Collaborative Practice model.


Collaborative Practice is a rational and reasonable problem solving process based on several principles:


®             Avoid court

®             Honest exchanges between the parties

®             Solutions to issues focus on the highest priorities of the couples and the best interests of the children


Just because the couples have decided to stop being husband and wife is no reason to treat each other as less than human.When people respect each other and work together to resolve differences, their interactions are more likely to be more productive with agreements met not only more quickly but longer lasting as well.


Key Difference

The key difference between the Collaborative model and the adversarial approach commonly encountered today is that each person in the process pledges to reach an agreement before going to court.In this way, the couples maintain control of the decisions that effect them and their children.The alternative is to turn over the couplesí lives to a total stranger who will make decisions based on the law and not on peopleís desires and wishes.The Collaborative process requires face-to-face meetings between the couples, the lawyers and the rest of the team as needed.There is an honest exchange of information, stated needs, wants and desires.When the issues are openly and honestly discussed the resolutions of problems is more likely.The focus is on resolving problems not proving who is right or wrong and the produce is an agreement everyone can live with.



A Team Approach

The team is there to provide the support when the couple needs it the most.The mental health professional is there to support each person through this difficult time.Individual sessions or even couple session may be needed.There may be time when the children need to talk to someone who can help them through their confusion and stress.Parents may need suggestions to help them with their parenting through this period.The financial expect is there to help sort out the sometimes confusing financial situation of the family.They are there to help divide retirement resources and other assets that have been comingled over the years.


Family Ties

Divorce may end a legal relationship, but the family relationships are there forever.The Collaborative model of divorce is designed to help preserve the family relationships while easing people through the legal process.


Recently a group has formed in the Tampa Bay area of Collaborative professionals they call themselves (click to link) The Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay and be viewed by clicking the name of the group.Dr. Evans is a member of the (click to link) International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP).