The Collaborative Team

The Collaborative Team

The collaborative team includes a specially-trained Attorney for each spouse, a specially-trained neutral Family Relations Specialist, and a specially-trained neutral Financial Professional. It can also include other specialists as needed. This versatility is one of the hallmarks of the collaborative law process, which seeks to customize both the approach to resolution and the final settlement.

Click on the buttons below to learn about how other professionals can contribute to this process

Legal Family Support Financial

Experienced Professionals

What sets NJCLG professionals apart are the requirements that they:
  • Be licensed in the State of New Jersey in the fields of law, finance or mental health.
  • Have a minimum of two (2) years of relevant experience after they are licensed.
  • Have completed at least 16 hours of basic interdisciplinary Collaborative training.
  • Have completed training in client centered, facilitative conflict resolution (lawyers – 40 hours, mental health professionals – 40 hours, financial professionals – 8 hours).
  • Participate in at least four (4) hours of additional trainings each year in interest-based negotiation training, communication skills training, additional Collaborative training; advanced mediation training, or professional coach training.


Collaborative Divorce Attorneys are highly skilled family law attorneys who are experienced in negotiation and mediation techniques. NJCLG attorneys must receive special training in the collaborative law process as well as in mediation. A Collaborative attorney will assist the client in identifying their needs and interests, discuss all legal and practical options, brainstorm solutions, negotiate a settlement, and prepare the court documents necessary to finalize the divorce. The attorney provides legal support throughout the process.

To search for a Collaborative Attorney, Click Here


Family Support

The Collaborative Divorce Family Relationship Specialist is a fundamental member of the Collaborative divorce team, helping to preserve the mental and emotional health of the divorcing couple. The Family Relationship Specialist is a licensed mental health professional with specialized training in Collaborative Practice and mediation techniques who assists each spouse and the team professionals in communicating effectively within the process. The Family Relationship Specialist meets with the spouses either jointly or separately depending on their needs, but does not act as a therapist. Rather, the Family Relationship Specialist uses his or her professional training and experience to assist the spouses and other team members to manage emotional and psychological issues with the goal of promoting a smooth and efficient Collaborative process. The Family Relationship Specialist also communicates with the team to provide insight and assistance to help facilitate discussions and negotiations.
The Family Relationship Specialist can join, as needed, the spouses and their Collaborative attorneys in a series of five-way meetings preliminary to settlement, and works to keep conflict at a minimum, which allows for a smoother and more harmonious divorce. Less conflict can lead to less emotional and financial costs.

The Family Relationship Specialist performs these functions:
  • Identifies and prioritizes your interests and concerns.
  • Provides emotional support as you move through emotions such as loss, grief and anger which are often a feature of separation or other difficult family law issues.
  • Identifies and offers assistance in dealing with and managing strong emotions that might interfere with reaching a settlement.
  • Uses his or her training to promote effective communication throughout the Collaborative process.
  • Helps you to develop and implement an effective parenting plan.
  • Helps you to learn and maintain skills for co-parenting.
  • Assists you and your team to manage any roadblocks to the resolution of your divorce or family law matter.

Another role that mental health professionals can play in a Collaborative Divorce is that of the Child Specialist, a licensed mental health professional with specific training in family systems and child development relevant to child custody or parenting issues. The Child Specialist helps parents and the team to remain focused on the feelings and needs of any children involved. This provides the parents with valuable information, options, ideas, and suggestions that reflect the best interests of the children. The Child Specialist can meet with parents to obtain developmental information, identify family strengths and set goals for the children’s needs in the process. The Child Specialist can also meet with the children to assess their current and future hopes and needs.

Note that sometimes the role of Coach and Child Specialist will be performed by the same mental health professional, while at other times these roles will be divided between two mental health professionals.

The Child Specialist has four primary responsibilities:

  • To be the representative of the child or children’s feelings, needs, and interests.
  • To be the child or children’s “voice” in the Collaborative Process.
  • To provide parents with information and guidance to help their children throughout the Collaborative Process.
  • To provide information to the team that will assist in developing an effective co-parenting plan that prioritizes the needs of the children.
  • To search for a Family Relations Specialist, Click Here



    Financial Professionals help you gather, understand, organize and value your financial assets. They identify and clarify financial goals and interests and comprehend short and long term implications of settlement options.

    The Financial Professional is a licensed professional, and meets additional training requirements to qualify him or her to handle the unique financial challenges presented in divorce and family law cases. The primary role of the financial professional is to educate all participants, including the couple, their attorneys and mental health professionals, as to the financial implications of the divorce

    The Financial Professional assists you by:
    • Facilitating safe, honest and informed financial communication. Having one professional gather and organize this information avoids duplication of efforts and ensures that both parties receive all documents during the collaborative process. In addition, the financial professional is trained in identifying and examining financial documents and can help identify missing documents and potentially overlooked assets and liabilities.
    • Providing an unbiased assessment of your finances through acting in a neutral role
    • Utilizing charts and graphs to help you and your attorneys understand the financial results and estimated taxes of settlement ideas concerning support and asset division
    • Working with the Collaborative Team to stay on track with financial topics and maintain open communication around finances
    • Helping you to construct and gather budget and net worth data to promote conversation and settlement.
    • Help a couple communicate both their individual and shared financial interests. Shared financial interests that continue after divorce might include saving for their children’s college education. .

    To search for a Financial Professional, Click Here

    Other Team Members: In addition to attorneys, family relations, child and financial specialists, you may choose to retain other experts or consultants such as appraisers, mortgage brokers or vocational experts. Unlike traditional litigated cases, where the parties hire competing experts to “fight it out,” both parties in the collaborative process jointly retain the experts they need and consider the options the experts present.