JoAnn Rodrigues, MFT
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Collaborative Practice For Divorcing Couples
Divorce is one of the most painful experiences a couple and family can go through. It does not have to be a battlefield. There is a healthier way that involves an approach aimed at minimizing the trauma and protecting children and relationships. You will find information below that describes the collaborative model. In addition, there are hybrid models that include elements of collaborative, with the same goals of keeping families out of court and allowing you to create your divorce settlement agreement.

I would be glad to explain the options available to help you find the model that will work best for your family.

The Collaborative Divorce model provides a respectful and non-adversarial alternative to litigation for families going through a divorce. With the support of a team of professionals (lawyers, mental health coaches, and financial specialist) couples and families stay out of court. This model addresses the emotional, financial and legal concerns while keeping the control over the outcome with the family. The team works with the couple to identify individual needs, minimize conflict, improve communication and find creative solutions.

Click below for a comprehensive brochure on Collaborative Divorce.

Team Members:
Lawyers - Each partner has their own lawyer. The lawyers collaborate with each other to help the couple reach a settlement. This involves advocating for their client, advising the client regarding the gathering of documentation, help with evaluating settlement options and the negotiation process. They write the final Marital Settlement Agreement as well as other necessary paperwork and file with the court.
Mental Health Professionals (Coaches) - Each partner has their own coach who meets with them individually and in team meetings. The role of the coach is to monitor and help the parties manage the emotions brought on by the divorce process. They help with communication, negotiation and preparing a parenting plan if there are children.

Financial Specialist - The financial specialist is considered a neutral party. They meet with the couple to identify their financial concerns, organize the gathered financial data and provide financial options. They present this information to the couple and the team explaining the short and long term ramifications.

Child Specialist -  When young children are involved a child specialist will often be brought in as a member of the team. They are a neutral party that meets with the couple and with the child or children to assess their adjustment to the divorce. The child specialist becomes the voice of the child identifying their needs and helping the parents and the team understand how different situations may impact the child.

Contact JoAnn Rodrigues, MFT
By phone: 925-820-4443 or e-mail:
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