Illinois Shows Us How to Market Our Collaborative Practices.
For years, I’ve preached that practitioners should work hard to ensure that all of their first responders are aware of the benefits of the collaborative divorce process. Now, the State of Illinois has recognized who some of those leading first responders are, and has taken steps to take advantage of their unique positions.
Effective in January 2017, hairstylists and cosmetologists in Illinois must have formal training in recognizing domestic abuse. Without that training, salons will not be allowed to renew their operating licenses.
State Senator Bill Cunningham introduced the legislation that requires the mandatory training. Because his wife had experience as a hairdresser years ago, he knew that, sometimes, her clients shared the intimate details of their lives with her. And sometimes those details included facts that might lead one to believe that her customers had been subjected to domestic violence.
Illinois-licensed cosmetologists were required to undergo 14 hours of training on a variety of subjects when their licenses are renewed. The new law adds another hour of education, but one that is focused both on recognizing domestic violence, and also, more importantly, on what steps the hairdresser can take to enable her client to get help if she wants it.
Interestingly, it seems that the goal of this legislation is to assist hairdressers who have, in the past, felt powerless to help when all they can do is listen and lend a sympathetic ear. The training will empower them to help their clients who ask for help.
So why are you not doing the same? Teach your hairdresser what you do and why you do it. Explain the lower emotional and financial cost of a collaborative divorce to your nail technician. Discuss with your own hairstylist the benefit of making the decisions that will affect their family for the foreseeable future themselves, instead of leaving it to a judge who doesn’t know them or their values. These are the folks who often hear of a divorce brewing before anyone else. They will be grateful for the information, and will leap at the opportunity to help their clients get the right divorce advice.
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About this week’s authors: Joryn Jenkins.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, 2 of which she served as professor in law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership to The American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.