Creative problem solving is the core of Collaborative Practice; I set out below an accepted 5 step creative problem solving model that can be used to get to resolution.
Step 1 Identify the goals, needs and interests of the parties.
- What are objectives are the parties trying to accomplish?
- What is most important to the parties?
- What are the parties interests and concerns?
- What else do the parties need to know?
Step 2 Determine the relevant facts.
In that process, the parties exchange information and work with family relationship consultant and financial neutral to gather, organize and interpret information.
Step 3 Brainstorming options.
As options are being presented, possible solutions shouldn’t be praised, or criticized, or even thought of as belonging to the person who suggested them. It’s important to get as many ideas as possible out on the table, in order to ascertain what’s feasible, even if the ideas appear at first to be impossible or crazy. This can be a creative step in the process.
Step 4 Evaluate the outcomes of each option.
The parties need to carefully determine how each option would impact everyone involved. In a divorce, of course, this often involves children. This step involves asking such questions as:
- What are the likely future outcomes for each option?
- What do the options cost? Are they financially feasible?
- How would each party benefit? Are there any downsides for either party?
Step 5 Choose acceptable options:
- Compare expected outcomes of each option with parties’ goals
- Eliminate options that have outcomes that do not sufficiently meet important goals of either party
- Narrow the options to those that meet the most important goals of both parties
- Jointly determine the option or options that most closely meet the most important goals of both parties
- Creative problem solving is an essential part of Collaborative Practice.
Without addressing what each party needs and interests, it is not possible to reach resolution.