Divorce is a major life transition. We know that such transitions can be painful and stressful – deepening wounds and divisions. In fact, they can harden opposing positions to a place that negates the humanity of the other, closing off the possibility of fruitful communication. This can easily happen in a contentiously-litigated divorce, leading to the destruction of families.
In the grip of emotional distress, it is difficult to fully (or even partially) comprehend the needs, pain and fear that all involved might be experiencing: for many of us, very difficult, without the help of others who are not so personally involved. Yet intuitively we suspect that a more peaceful divorce process can benefit us, as well as our spouse and our families. How to get there? How to honor our pain and confusion and still move forward to a positive solution?
So we look for a transition process that is capable of setting a constructive path forward. A process in which we are able to see beyond what divides and look instead to places of common ground.
Collaborative Divorce helps provide the support that allows the laying of this positive path through the transition to a place of mutually-beneficial communication and connection. An experienced Collaborative Team works together, focussed on the needs, interests and success of the parties divorcing – encouraging and modeling respect, cooperation, and empathetic listening. These are the building blocks for the continued communication that is necessary as families reconfigure.
The divorce process is not easy, and strong emotions are expected. Yet, when the Collaborative Team charged with guiding the process consists of two lawyers dedicated to fostering a fair and reasonable settlement; one or two mental health professionals with related professional training; and a neutral financial professional, all specifically trained in mediation and collaboration, the odds of reaching that fair and reasonable settlement are increased. The Collaboration provides a safe place to discuss all aspects of a case through the lens of mutual fairness.
The resulting agreement is driven by the needs and interests of each of the parties involved. In the end, the agreement is more likely to be grounded in mutual interests, organic to the family involved. And the pathways laid toward dignity of the self and respect of the other lead to a stable structure for the new family configuration. Maximized result indeed.