Professionals

Attorneys:

Attorney members of CCCLC must be licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania They must have completed a two-day basic training in collaborative law approved by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) and 24 hours of mediation training They must be a member in good standing of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Attorney members of CCCLC must participate in a minimum of 6 hours of collaborative law training a year, regularly attend monthly meetings of the CCCLC, and abide by the principles and guidelines of the collaborative law. Â In the collaborative process, attorneys represent their individual clients by educating and providing them with advice on all matters of law The attorneys assist their clients in articulating their interests during 4-party meetings and use creative problem-solving techniques to help the parties produce an agreement that meets their needs. The attorneys are committed to the goals of the collaborative process, focusing on settlement rather than preparation for a trial.

Mediators:

Mediator members of CCCLC must have a bachelor’s degree and experience in a behavioral or social science field, successful completion of a basic training in domestic violence/child abuse, 22 hours of Basic Mediation Training and, 40 hours of training from a program approved by the Association for Conflict Resolution, American Bar Association, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, or Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. They must have mediated a minimum of 200 cases for a minimum of 300 hours in family related issues during the 5 years prior to joining the CCCLC. Mediators must take 20 hours of continuing education every two years in family mediation topics, and comply with the ethical standards of the mediation profession.Mediators are neutral, impartial persons trained in negotiation, conflict resolution, and communication skills. They do not represent any party or take sides, nor act as an attorney, judge, coach or therapist, but as a facilitator. Mediators explain the process to the parties and assist couples to clarify issues, concerns, interests, needs, and values. They encourage parties, in conjunction with attorneys and other professionals, to work toward resolution in a transparent and peaceful manner.

Mental Health Practitioners:

Mental Health Practitioner (MHP) members of CCCLC must be licensed mental health providers in good standing according to their individual licensing boards in the State of Pennsylvania. International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) standards for Collaborative Mental Health Practitioners include background, education and experience in: family systems theory, individual, child and family life cycle development, an in-depth understanding of the effect of divorce on children and basic (12 hours) and advanced collaborative training (19 hours) with at least a 30 hour training in conflict resolution, negotiation and mediation skills. MHP’s may serve as divorce coach advocates  The divorce and child specialist the divorce coach role is to prepare clients to effectively participate in the collaborative process by assisting in managing/reframing emotional/psychological issues that might otherwise impair function and/or participation. The role of the child specialist is to give voice to the interests, concerns, and fears of children whose parents are divorcing. Providing parents with this information guides them in developing a co-parenting plan which effectively reflects the best interests of the child. In both of these roles, Mental Health Practitioners provide an effective component to the collaborative divorce team.

Financial Specialists:

Financial specialist members of CCCLC must have a license or designation as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Financial Divorce Planner (CFDP) or Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). The financial specialist is hired by both parties as a neutral expert and works with the parties’ attorneys to help the parties arrive at a mutually agreeable financial settlement. The financial specialist assists in gathering and organizing financial information, educating the parties about their financial past and future, promoting awareness of financial issues to be addressed, preparing statements of marital assets and liabilities, developing accurate budgets by making the best use of assets, evaluating various support and asset division proposals, minimizing post-divorce taxes, and serving as a financial advisor. The financial specialist analyzes the information to help facilitate an agreed-upon financial outcome based on available resources so that both parties can face the future and structure their finances for the next stage of their lives.