How I Unwittingly Became a Believer in Collaborative Divorce

March 8, 2022

Nancy Hetrick, CDFA®, MAFF®, AWMA®

This week I worked on two different Collaborative Divorce Cases. I’ve grown to really like the Collaborative Process but boy, it didn’t start that way!

In late 2019, I finally got hired as a financial neutral for TWO collaborative divorce cases. I was very excited to explore this process and be part of helping people solve problems. I was looking forward to seeing how the attorney’s role would be different than the adversarial model.

As we got into our first full team meetings, the conflict was running high! And the attorneys were NOT being very collaborative. Rather they seemed to be conducting a negotiation typical of standard litigation. It did NOT feel like a productive process.

“The sky opened up, the angels sang, and we made magic as a collaborative team giving people truly transformative results.”

We weren’t actively doing debriefs after meetings, or before, and it did NOT feel like we were “collaborating” as a team. When I suggested that we do things differently, I was shot down and made to feel like I was expected to shut up and do what I was told.

YUCK! No way. Not gonna work for me. I am NOT doing this.

I almost swore off Collaborative forever.

Then it happened. In 2021, I started doing Collaborative with DIFFERENT team members.

The sky opened up, the angels sang, and we made magic as a collaborative team giving people truly transformative results.

For those that want it, it can be a totally transformative process where they can redefine their relationship to effectively co-parent and even remain friends.

A couple we’re working with now has been married 36 years and are 66 and 73. Through 3 separate meetings with the communication coach, they’ve been able to say things to each other that have never been said, ask for things of each other that have never been asked, and accept that some of what they may want for their futures may not be possible.

And they’re finding peace.

YES! THIS is what I envisioned it to be.

So, dear friends, if your Collaborative Divorce experiences haven’t been pleasant, find a new team.

Better yet, build your own! One of the complaints I hear from CDFAs is that the Collaborative Groups are very Cliquey and won’t give them a case. Yep. It is the way it is. For instance, me and my various team members are such a well-oiled machine that it would be really hard for us to want to disrupt that.

So stop whining about never being brought in and get two of your favorite attorneys to partner with you to form your own team! Meet and talk about how you’re all going to convert prospects to Collaborative Process and work together.

And if you’re one of those CDFAs that says “oh, I don’t want Collaborative because I can’t keep the client after as a planning client”, you are SO woefully misguided.

Come to the next Business Blastoff in June and discover why being part of Collaborative Divorce can be one of your MOST POWERFUL marketing opportunities. Not only to get Collaborative cases, but a steady stream of other cases as well.

We only have a few spots left for June 24th and 25th Business Blastoff. What if you finally stopped trying so hard?

Register for Business Blastoff HERE

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