It is a good time to be part of Collaborative Divorce Texas. Our organization is busy and growing and I hear good things from around the state. The CDT board has worked hard over the past several years and accomplished much. Recently, someone said to me “this is the hardest working board I have ever seen” and I would agree. We have asked this board to be hard working, committed and creative and they have answered. Thank you to each of you for your service.
For the past several years this board has worked t to figure out how to grow the practice of collaborative law in the state of Texas. What have we done towards that growth?
- In 2014 we established a Facebook page and in 2016 we began marketing through this medium growing our message to people of Texas that you can “divorce differently”
- In 2015 we developed a new website, one that is still in use today but is now in need of some repairs and updates
- We also launched the opportunity to become a credentialed professional with Collaborative Divorce Texas
- In 2017 we established a fundraising committee to raise funds to cover what was a 30-35k shortfall each year, if we are advertising
- During this time we established a consistent training schedule with excellent training teams, including annual advanced training
So what has that done for us…
- This year we will announce our 4th year of credentialed professionals with a total of 42 that have been credentialed and that number is growing each year. With training and case requirements, individuals have been working diligently to meet the credentialing requirements.
- Our Facebook campaign has grown the traffic to the website exponentially. This past year we can confirm that we now have people from cities all over the state visiting our website and we hear from some individuals that they experience clients asking about the collaborative method when they arrive at their office
- Between ads on the website, donate an hour and training we raised 45,000 in 2019 which we have utilized to grow the Facebook ad campaign to the entire state of Texas.
- We now frequently have waiting lists for our basic trainings and our advanced trainings continue to be well attended.
- And our membership has moved from around 260 member in 2016 to above 330 this year.
We asked the question at the beginning of the year… “What does it take to get us to the next level”?
- Consistency –
- Consistency of having our message to educate the public
- Consistency of raising funds to continue the message
- Consistency of training new professional in collaborative
- Consistency of elevating the practice of collaborative.
We are still a new movement, an organization in infancy. It still takes this grass roots effort to move the organization forward and to make collaborative divorce the preferred method of divorce in Texas.
TO be completely cliché and corny…
Ask not what CDT can do for you .. but what you can do for CDT.
This organization needs your help and support. It needs your time and your money.
Many have asked and we have discussed “Why Credential” I would argue that if you are asking what it can do for you.. you are asking the wrong question. You should be asking what it does for the movement. Credentialing elevates the entire practice and it supports not the organization of CDT but the movement of collaborative divorce. If you believe in the movement… you should desire to elevate it.
I know that today I am preaching to the choir so I would ask that that you be an advocate in your community. Ask others to train that you know will be good collaborative practitioners. Become excellent at your trade. Encourage all to credential. If you truly believe this is better for families… speak of it often. I know it is better for families… I see it every day in my practice. We change lives in this practice and often the trajectory of a family and anyone who practices collaborative seriously knows this.
I’ll just bet that if you do this it will enhance your practice and increase cases.
In October, I had the opportunity to attend the IACP conference in Chicago. In one of the sessions I attended the trainer suggested that
If an attorneys is practicing collaborative simply because they don’t want to go to court
If the mhps’s are involved because they are tired of counseling one on one
If the fps are just there trying to get more business
Then they are all there for the wrong reason.
The practice of collaborative divorce is not easy. It requires skills that each of us did not obtain in our original training. It requires practice, training and much discussion.
So holding in tension our desire to grow and elevate the community while inspiring professionals to continually train to be excellent collaborators (not just lawyers, mhps, or fps) is part of our job as an organization. This is not an easy job but one of great value to our families and to our communities.
I look forward to what is to come. With the dedication of the leadership of this organization… you are in good hands. It has been my pleasure to serve.