Lawyers could step back

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May 4, 2019

We had a full team on a case with a family of modest means. Cost of the process was causing one client to resist further meetingS. We had explained the law and were ready to start option generation. The other lawyer suggested the family and financial professionals meet with clients without lawyers. Then lawyers could prepare the agreement and give ILA after deal is reached. Has anyone tried this?

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May 8, 2019

I do suggest that some work be done without lawyers present: parenting issues, leading to the drafting of a parenting plan, can be done in a mediation type setting with the family professional only. The financial may not need to be present at team meetings unless there are financial options which will require input from a financial to understand future implications. Review of suggested financial options can be reviewed with just the clients and the financial. However the benefit of collaborative is that the option generation and, more important, analysis for pros and cons is done with both clients and their representatives present, so concerns can be presented and dealt with as they come up. Perhaps if you deal with non-parenting issues (property division, spousal and child support) with lawyers and family present, pass on any financial questions/issues to the financial professional, and have them at the next meeting to share insight and information if necessary. In my experience having the family present at these discussions shortens them, and makes their presence more than worthwhile.

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