Collaborative Divorce Glossary of Terms

We compiled this collaborative divorce glossary to list industry terms that we think might be helpful to you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Child Specialist – An experienced, licensed therapist with specific education and training in the expected behaviors, stages, challenges and tasks of the development of a child. They work with the child (ren) to address specific emotional and practical day-to-day needs as they relate to the divorce process. The Child Representative also helps in designing the parenting plans that specifically address the defined needs of the child (ren) as they go through the restructuring of the family.

Divorce Coach – A Divorce coach is a skilled professional, trained to manage a wide variety of emotions and issues that arise during divorce. Collaborative Divorce Coaches are all licensed mental health professionals (for example, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists). Each Coach is experienced in the area of divorce and each Coach receives specialized training in Collaborative Divorce and the Collaborative process. Divorce coaching is not legal advice and not therapy. Divorce coaching is not about placing blame, finding fault or dealing with the past.

Family Law – An area of the law that deals with family-related issues and domestic relations including, but not limited to:

  • the nature of marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships;
  • issues arising during marriage, including spousal abuse, legitimacy, adoption, surrogacy, child abuse, and child abduction
  • the termination of the relationship and ancillary matters including divorce, annulment, property settlements, alimony, and parental responsibility orders (in the United States, child custody and visitation, child support awards).

Family Law Attorney – A lawyer practicing in the area of Family Law.

Financial Counselor – This professional acts as a neutral party who assists both spouses in gathering all the financial information about the couple or family in a supportive and nurturing environment. Each client is encouraged to assist in financial disclosure and documentation of the income, expenses, assets, and debts of the family. The essential shift is from a data focus to a system focus, whereby the financial counselor listens and then helps the clients understand the overall picture created by their particular family’s financial situation. The knowledge gained by the clients through the data collection and documentation can aid each partner in achieving the financial settlement he/she desires.

Financial Planner/Financial Advisor/Estate Planner – Certified professionals who work in the field of accounting, insurance, or investments. They advise clients on how to invest their money to get the best return on their dollar based on their own tolerance for risk. They can facilitate retirement planning, long-term financial investment and life insurance needs.