It’s important that people have informed consent to make decisions; it’s important that there is transparency from each party when they’re going through a divorce. The client’s role is to be an open book, to have good faith intentions when they enter the collaborative process, and to make the final decisions with some guidance from their counsel and their joint neutral financial expert, who might help provide them with a framework and options for what settlements they would like to reach. We also use mental health professionals when necessary to help with communication. The client’s role is to be in charge of their own case, but with the guidance of allied professionals.
Founding partner of McGaughey & Spirito in Redondo Beach, California, Joe Spirito has been practicing family law since 1982 and is currently serving as secretary of the Los Angeles County Bar’s Family Law Section.