I am fortunate to have the honor of representing our Virginia Collaborative Professionals (VaCP) in the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) Global Partners Group https://www.collaborativepractice.com/global-partners. Other global partners outside of the US include – Italy, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Ontario, and the European Network group.
We just started meeting through Zoom technology to learn from one another and will have the opportunity to meet in person at the annual IACP forum in the fall. It is fascinating to learn that these other groups have similar challenges in looking for ways to help divorce clients settle their issues out of court and using a process that is forward thinking and attends to the needs of the family involved.
Some of the global partner groups are very established and have legislation and court rules regarding collaborative process; other groups are small and working on becoming more established.
A few examples of memorable gems.
Texas, Florida and Ontario shared information regarding their credentialing process and what they have developed for certification of collaborative professionals at the advanced level.
A group from Italy has collaboratively written and published a book on the topic of Collaborative Practice. The approach they used was creative. Each member in the group was asked to write a section of the book, so there were more than 60 authors and it was a collaborative effort. The book is used for teaching purposes in law schools, for professionals becoming involved in the collaborative divorce work, and so members of the professional community and the judiciary can better understand the philosophy and practice of the collaborative divorce approach. They have the book translated in English and shared it with our group.
A group from the Netherlands has implemented a practice of having the lawyer and other party meet briefly, early in the initial meeting with clients, attorneys, and divorce coach, so they can get to know each other and establish some rapport. They report this helps the clients to be more comfortable with all the professionals as they embark on the process and avoid the perception that the other attorney is their enemy!
I am looking forward to our next Zoom conference to hear more and get to know these amazing professionals with a shared interest and goal to grow the Collaborative Divorce work around the globe. It will be interesting to see what other groups form and join in.