A Network of Professionals to Help
These experts come from a variety of backgrounds, depending on the need, and Levitt Family Law & Mediation assists clients in obtaining the professional resources they may require in any given case. The expert then works with the lawyer and client or mediator and parties to answer questions, analyze an issue, or provide other valuable information as necessary. Not all cases require additional professional resources, and in fact some cases are straightforward such that, with the assistance of an attorney, mediator or collaborative professional, the case can be easily resolved. However, in those cases that require more, some of the experts we use on a regular basis are described below.
Business or other Legal Consultants and Estate Planners
“Collaborative Coach” or Case Facilitator
A “Collaborative Coach” or Case Facilitator can be used in any case, but is most often used in mediation and Collaborative Law. Their role is to help the parties and their attorneys manage the inevitable emotions that are part of divorce or any family law issue, which can derail negotiations and resolution by agreement. They work with the clients and the attorneys, to identify and then strategize about each client’s concerns, in order to find the most effective and efficient communication method for a positive outcome.
Clients can benefit by working with a Collaborative Coach or Case Facilitator, in preparing for and setting realistic expectations about whatever process the client chooses, whether it is via mediation, settlement counsel, or Collaborative Law. Being prepared helps clients make important decisions with confidence. Guiding clients in clarifying their thoughts, needs, and concerns, promotes purposeful and rational communication, helps to ease tension, and fosters understanding and ultimately agreement.
A Collaborative Coach or Case Facilitator can serve a valuable function that may lessen legal and other costs by keeping negotiations on track, allowing the lawyers to focus on legal rather than emotional issues, and by offering services “offline” with respect to parenting plans or other issues that may not require the presence of the attorneys. For more information see www.collaborativepractice.com and www.massclc.org.
The goal of parties is often to achieve a monetary settlement that is both tax efficient and financially compatible with the needs of both parties. The use of financial professionals can be critical in a divorce or other family law legal problem.
Mental Health Professionals
When it comes to parenting plans, parents and children are usually better off if the parents can craft a customized agreement rather than having an outside party or court impose a ruling. Social workers, psychologists, family and child specialists, and other mental health professionals can provide expertise in family and child related matters, and help clients create effective and workable parenting plans.
Mental health professionals may have competencies in a variety of areas, including:
- child development
- the impact of divorce upon children including at different developmental stages
- the effects of parental conflict and how to reduce that conflict for the benefit of children
- effective parenting and co-parenting skills during and after divorce
- effective communication skills
- safety planning when substance abuse, mental health, or domestic violence is an issue
- working with attorneys and mediators to help create workable parenting plans for parents and children which can be incorporated in an agreement
Real Estate Appraisers
Other Professional Resources
We may also be able to provide you with referrals for professionals that you need for other legal services or needs that we cannot provide, in areas such as personal injury, employment, landlord tenant, or financial planning. Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you need such a referral and we will do our best to help you.