When you think about divorce, the term collaboration is probably one of the last words to come to mind. Here are two people asking to end their marriage, both of whom are likely experiencing hurt feelings, lack of trust and want nothing more than to start living their lives apart. So when divorcing couples first come to me, I’m not surprised to hear that one, or both, of them is a little skeptical.
But collaborative divorce is not only possible, it can often be the beginning of a new healthy, separated relationship for divorcing couples. I’ve found that collaborative divorce provides an opportunity to create a positive foundation for the future, which is especially critical if there are children involved.
So, how are couples who aren’t talking, don’t trust each other and may even wish to hurt each other supposed to work together to negotiate a settlement? That’s where the collaborative divorce coach comes in.
What Does a Collaborative Divorce Coach Do?
Collaborative divorce coaches are licensed mental health professionals with specialized dispute resolution training. Specifically, we act as neutral mental health professionals in a divorce by preparing you for the entire divorce process. We are there to help you understand your feelings and help both sides work through your emotions to discover what is truly important to each of you. Basically, a collaborative divorce coach offers you the best opportunity for getting through your divorce with the minimal amount of pain and suffering for all parties. Our primary focus at all times is on helping you address the difficult emotions that can get in the way of communication and settlement discussions so that you can reach a mutually developed settlement agreement and move on with your lives in a positive manner.
Do I Still Need a Divorce Lawyer?
Yes. As a mental health professional, my psychological expertise complements your attorneys’ law expertise. Collaborative divorce coaches work with you and your attorneys to develop an agreeable divorce settlement that ideally includes the groundwork for a stable lifestyle and emotionally healthy future. Your coach is there to make sure you stay focused on your goals and your future, and manage your emotions so that you can think clearly and make your best decisions.
Why Should I Consider a Collaborative Divorce Coach?
A collaborative divorce coach helps a divorcing couple negotiate the emotional upheaval of divorce and build a healthy foundation for their future separate lives. I have seen both traditional and collaborative divorces. Having seen the cooperation and healing that can occur in the collaborative process, I urge all divorcing couples to consider the collaborative practice model, for their own benefit and that of their families and children.