In this video Craig and Dr.Gaughan highlight key differences between divorcing using the collaborative method and conventional method.
CRAIG CHERNEY: Good afternoon. My name is Craig Cherney. I’m with Canterbury Law Group in North Scottsdale, Arizona.
DR. DANIEL GAUGHAN: And my name is DJ Gaughan. I am a licensed psychologist in the state of Arizona.
CRAIG CHERNEY: We’re here today to talk about collaborative law. And your choice is, when you’re facing a divorce, whether you should collaborate or go through the conventional litigation process through a court. Conventional divorce is lawyer versus lawyer, judge in a black robe, big decisions happening that are placed upon your life.
How does that contrast with the collaborative process?
DR. DANIEL GAUGHAN: Well, in the collaborative process, both parties do have an attorney and they are represented, so they’re protected in that regard. But the process is very different because the parents are working with each other and parents are working with their attorneys and they bring in some specialists to assist them. There’s a financial neutral who will help you with the financial piece of what’s going on; and there’s also somebody like myself, a specialist for communication between the parents and who will also help with the parenting plan.
CRAIG CHERNEY: Think of Dr. Gaughan as a communication specialist as a referee, someone that helps one spouse speak to the other spouse in a manner that achieves success and resolution of the case without a lot heartache and emotional baggage.
How would you describe the financial neutral’s role in these cases?
DR. DANIEL GAUGHAN: Well, the financial neutral is just that; he’s neutral or she’s neutral.
CRAIG CHERNEY: Correct.
DR. DANIEL GAUGHAN: And they’re there just for the specific purpose of making sure that nobody gets left out and everybody is treated fairly. A fair result is really the goal of the entire collaborative process. And the financial neutral is a key piece of making sure that that happens.
CRAIG CHERNEY: Think of the neutral for financial as a quarterback that assembles all the assets and liabilities of the marital estate, whether it’s banks, securities, houses, conventional IRAs or retirement assets. They put all of that into one basket, and one unified expert comes up with the values for those assets and liabilities. Doesn’t that sound better than having two lawyers submit a bunch of paperwork on each other to try to ferret through to get to the truth?
DR. DANIEL GAUGHAN: Yes. And one of the things that I was impressed with when I first started in collaborative law was how detailed the financial specialists were, and they did projections 20 years out from the divorce. Oftentimes it looks like you’re okay in a conventional litigated divorce settlement and you say, “Okay, I’m okay, they’re okay, everybody’s okay.” And five years later somebody’s doing fine and somebody’s really having problems.
This process is set up to make sure that that doesn’t happen. Both parents are treated fairly and both come out okay.
CRAIG CHERNEY: And both know exactly where they’re going to end up at the end. Ideally, you end up at the same place when you exit the marriage.
DR. DANIEL GAUGHAN: Correct.