Welcome prospective note taker volunteer!
Note taking is a fantastic way to participate in the collaborative divorce process and gain invaluable experience.
All note takers must sign the Collaborative-participation agreement for the case they are on. The Collaborative team will invite based on the interest list.
Note takers are an important part of the Collaborative process and can help clients pay attention and participate. Note takers are observers and recorders and should avoid interrupting the “flow”. Notes from the full team meeting will be shared with the whole team and the cients after each meeting. Note takers must be aware of and avoid positions, words or comments that could trigger an emotional response from the clients.
Cases could last three or more months, depending on each case, and note takers will participate through the conclusion.
Expectations of potential note takers:
1. Summarize in a succinct manner with the important information in headnotes.
2. When meetings start and decisions are made quickly, try to get in as much detail as possible and “clean up” later. The final version should be typed.
3. What to listen for?
a. KISS. Keep It Succinct & Simple. Not everything said is noteworthy. Experience leads to better notes. Clients do not want lengthy dictations of everything said. Attribute team statements such as “team recommendeds x, y, z”
b. Keep emotion and judgment out of it.
c. Shorthand is key; symbols; one letters
i. Use initials “H” or “W” or first name of financial professional or attorney if something is noteworthy for easier reference later.
ii. If there is discussion about how to value a home, notes should indicate “house value?” H= use Zillow, W= get CMAs, Team = each get
iii. Use lines across page to separate out discussion points and show new points. Make your own notes easier to follow when putting into a memo format.
iv. Use “A” next to any agreement
v. Use asterisks * next to homework/action items
vi. When note taking various support scenarios, circle or highlight the option agreed to or last two that the team is considering. Helps avoid confusion later.
d. Highlight any agreements or “homework/action items” in bold and who is responsible for it.
e. Do not use the word “party” to refer to the clients
4. Drafting of Notes/Timing:
a. Use example memo format for consistency in cases.
b. Meeting notes should be:
i. Completed in memo format after every meeting
ii. Completed and emailed to the other team professionals within 1-3 business days. Once team approves, appointed team member will distribute to clients
iii. Team should review and respond ASAP. Any proposed changes by the team should follow KISS and should be substantive in nature.
iv. Use section headings. Make it easy for clients to reference;
~ Introduction/Review of Agreement and bullet point any important points; Status of Parenting Plan; Discussion of Assets/Debts; Current Issues to Address: (bullet point issues/agreement on status quo payment of expenses, who lives where); Next Meeting; ect)