Divorce is a major life transition. While it marks the end of one part of your life, it is also the beginning of another. Using the Collaborative Practice model, divorce Coaches help you get through the changes divorce creates in families by helping both parties learn to interact and communicate with each other more respectfully and honestly. You will use these skills in your settlement discussions and in your post-divorce parenting interactions.
Every negotiation has emotional components, and this is especially true in family law. Failure to address the emotional dimensions of divorce decision-making often leads to protracted proceedings, and thus, higher cost. The collaborative model explicitly recognizes this integral aspect of the decision-making process. In fact, addressing the emotional components of this process typically results in more durable and satisfying long-term agreements.
The Collaborative Coach facilitates an honest dialogue about each divorcing individual’s emotional and material needs and goals. This focus lies at the heart of the collaborative process. Understanding and communicating what is truly important requires emotional support and a safe, protective process to help each party move beyond defensively held positions. The positive pressure and constructive modeling that the professional team exerts provides a path forward, out of the insecurity, mistrust, and uncertainty that can undermine even the best intentions. In short, the Collaborative Process promotes effective needs-based negotiation and creative problem-solving.
Collaborative Coaches are sensitive to the impact that the divorce process has on families. Drawing on a combination of research, clinical experience, and input from the child specialist – the coaches will help you create a healthy co-parenting plan that is sensitive to the developmental needs of your child(ren) as well as the needs of each parent. The coaches’ concern is to foster agreements for the well-being of the whole family.