3/30/2019 0 Comments
Second Collaborative Meetings
By the end of the second collaborative meeting in two separate files this week, the clients had been given an overview of the legal model with respect to property together, (at the same time) by both of their counsel, all of the financial disclosure had been exchanged and reviewed, a draft net family property statement was about 95% completed with only a few ‘to do’s’ such as speaking with an accountant or actuary about a reasonable range of notional disposition costs for the RRSP’s and investments. The clients had also heard, again together, an overview of the legal model with respect to child support, the sharing of children’s expenses and spousal support. We had reviewed several years of income tax returns and had a handle on the income for the payor, one of which included a base salary, commissions, stock options and RSU’s. We had a handle on the income for the recipient, one of whom was self employed and we were able to calmly discuss and agree on what expenses would be added back to her income for support purposes and the other recipient was a beneficiary of a trust and had received a significant inheritance and we were able to map out a reasonable imputation schedule for her income. We ran and reviewed several support calculations showing the impact of moving around the range of reasonable assumptions we were exploring. The clients left meeting #2 with all of the information (legal and financial) to begin considering financial options that might be acceptable.
In the meantime, we had also explored the things that mattered most to these two couples, everything from keeping the house, to setting aside some monies to help children with a down payment on a house one day, to honouring a financial responsibility to a sibling with mental health issues, to a desire to retire and shift gears to consulting work, to a goal of quitting smoking and the desire to have a portion of their budget for ‘wellness’ to help them quit, to co-parenting goals including safety planning in the event of an addiction relapse, and to cultivating a co-parenting relationship that would allow for shared family meals for special occasions.
Two meetings, held within 4 weeks of each other, each less than three hours, with agendas distributed ahead of time and progress notes distributed within a day or two after. Clients are informed, supported and ready to begin problem solving and developing options in earnest.
Just a little window into what actually happens in collaborative practice.
Leave a Reply.