I’d like to share my presentation with you at our inaugural South Toronto Collaborative event. More than a decade ago, I initiated and continue to facilitate the South Toronto Collaborative Small Interdisciplinary Practice Group. It started as a friendly forum for newly-trained collaborative professionals all working in their own fields of expertise – lawyers, financial advisors, psychotherapists and social workers – and helping families transition as they journey through life. During our monthly meetups, we discuss strategies to put potentially derailed situations back on track. This includes working through communication issues, discarding myths for the actual facts, and looking to the future rather than rehashing old cyclical arguments. We cherish solid practical knowledge gleaned from one family’s experiences re-told to inspire each of us at table for use in our own practices. We learn how to calm anxious parents as they move from a family home to separate residences burdened by limited financial resources. We resolve how to be the best practitioners we can. We help each other strengthen our skills and professional responsibilities to our clients as we develop our collaborative craft. As we study together, we learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses and how to apply principles of powerful advocacy and excellent teamwork. What is Collaborative Family Practice? Well, it’s not for everyone. It’s a private issue resolution approach for families in transition. We help to de-stress professionals, business owners, executives and entrepreneurs who also have private roles as parents and spouses and partners. It’s for parents and partners and spouses who make a mindful choice to respect each other as they enter new domestic relationships, honour the needs of their children in a private safe space during cohabitation or marriage, and handle the legal, financial, and personal problems arising at separation. Their commitment to assisting each other, and to find answers to managing these issues as needs, wants, or future dreams fluctuate during trying times. No one takes advantage of a misstep, a mathematical error, or a lack of knowledge. There are no threats to quit the process or jump to court or arbitration. Above all, egos are parked at the door. This commitment is set out in a written and signed contract before the first step is taken. Geography is not a barrier to assisting a family through separation if each partner or spouse resides in a different county or different country. There is an international network of qualified interdisciplinary professionals around the globe. When can the Collaborative Approach be useful? Simply, at any time a family is in transition: When partners decide they wish to cohabite together Before marriage During marriage Upon separation Divorce Incredible referral partners celebrate our long-standing business relationships. We support the broad spectrum of enterprises we each represent. The endurance of these relationships is based on quality, professionalism and our dedication to clients. We don’t make the referral unless we know that our clients will be in good hands. I have been a family law lawyer in private practice for more than two decades. The last decade I have been practicing using the Collaborative Approach because my clients choose working together over fighting against each other. I’ve resolved more than 100 matters using this Approach. And, I am proud that 5% of these matters were resolved because the partners and spouses reconciled. South Toronto Collaborative professionals are committed to de-stressing families in transition and working together to best handle your continued referrals to us. For more information about the Collaborative Approach relating to your current family circumstances or if there’s a transition in your plans in the future, please contact Lorisa Stein at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also reach her at her direct line 416 596-8081 during business hours. If you wish to learn more about the South Toronto Collaborative, email us at email@example.com.