In 2017, Collaborative Divorce Texas made credentialing available to qualified legal, financial, and mental health professionals. Getting credentialed involves several steps and can be challenging if you don’t plan ahead because some requirements take years to complete.
The requirements to qualify to be a Credentialed Collaborative Professional include:
- Be a member of CDT for three consecutive years prior to your application;
- Be licensed and in good standing with your applicable professional certification or licensing board for at least five years prior to submitting your application;
- Submit proof that you have concluded eight collaborative cases in the three years prior to your application or twenty cases in your career;
- Have at least three positive professional recommendations solicited by CDT;
- Have attended Basic Collaborative Training;
- Within five years of filing your application, you must have attended three of the last five State Bar of Texas Collaborative Law Courses (formerly Spring Conference), attended one in the last 5 years CDT Advanced Training, and attended twenty-five additional hours of collaborative education or training; and
- You must also submit the application and pay the application fee.
The requirements for qualifying to hold Master Credential status include:
- Complete the requirements set forth herein above to be credentialed;
- Submit proof that you have concluded fifty collaborative cases over the course of your career; and
- Show leadership and significant service to the collaborative community.
Plan Ahead. It’s critical to begin thinking about and planning for the training and experience requirements several years prior to applying to become Credentialed and/or Master Credentialed.
Collect and Copy Participation Agreements. One of the more challenging tasks is collecting the proof required to show that you have completed the requisite number of collaborative cases. To do this, you must submit copies of the signed Participation Agreements of those cases. If you are applying to be Credentialed, you need to go back only three years and eight cases or collect evidence of twenty cases over your career. However, if you plan to apply to be Master Credentialed, you will need to collect a minimum of fifty executed Participation Agreements of concluded cases which is even more time-consuming. If you have an office policy of shredding documents after seven years, you may have difficulty locating and copying your old these Participation Agreements. One way around that hurdle is to contact other professionals who worked on your missing cases and see if they have a copy of the executed Participation Agreement. Each Participation Agreement must include the disqualification provision in order to qualify as one of the required cases.
Twenty-five Additional Hours of Education and/or Trainings Attended. For attorneys, listing their twenty-five additional hours of education and/or trainings is an easy task because the State Bar of Texas compiles a complete list of all approved education and/or training courses attended by each attorney, including the number of hours, the date(s) attended, and the name of each course. Financial and mental health professionals will need to reconstruct their training history from accounting records, course records, or contact CDT and ask for help.
Remember, if the education and/or training isn’t collaborative on its face but you believe that you have obtained continuing education or training that directly relates to your collaborative practice but is not labeled specifically as collaborative education or training by the sponsoring organization, please identify the course or program and explain how such program is directly applicable to your collaborative practice in the last column of the table included in the application.
List Contact Information for Professionals. You must collect names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses for each professional who worked on a completed collaborative case with you in the relevant time period. As a courtesy, give notice to each collaborative professional listed in your Application that you are submitting an application for credentialing and let them know they may be contacted by CDT staff and/or a CDT committee member for a recommendation.
Service Requirement. If you are applying to be endorsed by CDT as being Master Credentialed, you will additionally need to document your leadership and other significant service to the collaborative community at the local, state, national and/or international level. There are a number of ways you can meet this requirement, including writing blogs for posting on the CDT website, serving as an officer in your local practice group, joining the Board of Trustees of CDT/IACP or serving on one or more of CDT/IACP’s committees, by mentoring young collaborative attorneys, mental health or financial professionals, by presenting at collaborative conferences, by teaching a collaborative training, by presenting seminars to your practice group, or by writing articles for publication in local/statewide/national/international journals.
Complete and Proof the Application. Once you have collected the required information, you need to complete the credentialing application form. You will need to add copies of the executed Participation Agreement for each case you are presenting, check the application facts against the credentialing requirements to make certain you meet all the requirements, and then edit the application for spelling and accuracy. Once you have completed this part:
Application Fee: Pay your non-refundable application fee here: https://members.collaborativedivorcetexas.com/pay-credentialing-fees-online/ or by check to Collaborative Divorce Texas, c/o Ronda Robinson, 1400 Preston Road, Suite 400, Plano, TX 75093.
Submit Entire Application: The entire Application can be submitted electronically or sent by courier, delivery service or mail along with the notarized page to Ronda Robinson at Ronda@CollaborativeDivorceTexas.com OR to Collaborative Divorce Texas, c/o Ronda Robinson, 1400 Preston Road, Suite 400, Plano, TX 75093
Don’t get discouraged, the process is tedious and can seem technical, but it’s worthwhile and will give your collaborative clients confidence in your stills and training.