Collaborative Colleagues and Friends:
Thank you so much for being a part of Collaborative Divorce Texas. I hope you are all doing well. When I think back to our time together at Spring Conference in March, it seems like nine years ago instead of nine months.
The conference was so inspiring, and it was delightful to be in a room filled with professionals who aspire to change and are changing the way Texans divorce. As the conference ended, I felt recharged with renewed passion for the work we do as collaborative professionals and I hope that you did as well.
As the Covid-19 pandemic strengthened and became widespread in our country, much changed. This has been a difficult year for all of us, for some much more than others. We have sheltered in place, worked from home, learned new ways of “meeting” with our clients and working with other collaborative professionals. Instead of in person meetings, we have learned to use Zoom and other like vehicles for consultations, offline meetings and joint meetings. The pandemic has disrupted the education of our children, intellectually and socially. Holiday traditions have been modified to accommodate social distancing. We have missed being in the physical presence of our extended family and friends. We have seen family, friends and colleagues become ill and even die from COVID-19.
Whether you are still working remotely or are coming into your office, everyone is still dealing with adjustment and everything that comes along with it. I think we all remain apprehensive to some degree for our safety and that of our families, friends, coworkers, and clients. Covid 19 has affected our livelihood and we are rightfully concerned about how it will affect us in the future both personally and professionally.
There is no question, that collaborative cases can move forward more efficiently than cases in litigation and that fact has been multiplied by the changes made necessary because of Covid 19. The courts will take a long time to return to how they were before the pandemic if they ever do.
I miss connecting with you and cannot wait to be able to greet and hug you in person instead of virtually. I encourage all of you to check in with each other to share experiences and just reconnect on a personal basis. We have been given a unique opportunity to show our community what the collaborative divorce process has to offer. During this time, we should be spreading the word about collaborative divorce to an even greater extent than we normally do. Most of us have been saying for quite some time that collaborative divorce should not be thought of as an alternative dispute resolution process but should be the first option considered when our clients are faced with the reality of a divorce.
If there is any silver lining to this horrible time, part of it has to be that collaborative professionals possess the knowledge and the skills to empower clients to take control and resolve their family law matters in a private, transparent and less adversarial way. We remain dedicated to the concept of addressing the needs and interests of all members of the family, not just the one we represent.
I continue to be inspired by your commitment to your clients and your willingness to adapt to meet their needs. The collaborative community is prepared to help clients reach resolution considering their goals and interests no matter the change in environment. We truly are all in this together.
This is our time to educate our community regarding all the benefits that collaborative divorce offers to families. I am awed by your knowledge, skill, and dedication. Thank you for your passion, your commitment, and your perseverance. We can make Collaborative Divorce the preferred method of divorce in Texas!
With warmest regards,
Julie H. Quaid
President, Collaborative Divorce Texas