• Helping Parents Make Their Divorce & Family Restructuring Less Stressful and Child-Focused

    Collaborative Divorce: Facilitator, Child Specialist & Divorce Coach

    What is Collaborative Divorce?

    Divorce affects many different areas of your life. Collaborative Divorce gives you and your spouse the support you need to handle the most important areas of your divorce more productively. Collaborative divorce law is a positive alternative to the traditional adversarial posture of family law litigation. It was designed to keep families out of court, to preserve relationships, and to facilitate creative options for resolution of family conflicts involved in the divorce process. Collaborative Divorce process works through a series of meetings between you, your spouse, and your Collaborative Team. These meetings are held in private offices – not in public court rooms!

    Collaborative Divorce Teams

    Collaborative Divorce takes a team approach which uses specially trained divorce professionals who will help you keep your divorce moving forward efficiently and effectively. Your Collaborative Team may include your Collaborative Attorneys, a Financial Neutral, and a mental health professional like myself serving in the role of facilitator, child specialist or divorce coach. This team approach allows you and your spouse to gain professional advice, gather information, identify your concerns and goals, and negotiate a settlement that focuses on your family’s needs without resorting to dueling expert testimony as in traditional litigation.

    My Services as a Mental Health Professional on a Collaborative Team

    As a licensed marriage and family therapist with expertise in child development and family systems I provide services on the Collaborative Teams within the following roles:

    • Collaborative Divorce Facilitator
    • Child Specialist
    • Divorce Coach

    Facilitator

    As a Facilitator, I am a neutral professional in the collaborative divorce process. As a couples’ and family therapist I have a background in family dynamics, childhood development and conflict management and am utilized as a neutral team leader, case manager and communication specialist within the collaborative divorce process.

    In my role as Facilitator, I:

    • Schedule and facilitate all the meetings lending a neutral voice to the process. I will guide all parties through the agreed upon agenda for each meeting. During the discussion I will keep all participants on track so that everyone’s time is well used.
    • Help you and your spouse unite on subjects related to your children and reinforce your commitment of working together for the benefit of your children.
    • Provide education to you and your spouse on the possible effects of divorce on children and on the factors that impact children’s adjustment.
    • Consult on strategies to minimize conflict and enhance communication, as well as how to address different parenting styles.
    • Discuss how to talk with your children about you and your spouse divorcing.
    • Provide guidance on how you and your spouse can transition from a marital to a co-parenting relationship.
    • Help you and your spouse develop a parenting schedule that meets the needs of you, your spouse, and your children including addressing any special needs of your children.
    • Discuss strategies to help your children adjust to possible changes such as relocation, school changes, introduction of significant others, and re-marriage and stepfamilies.
    • Guide you and your spouse to remain focused on maintaining healthy parent-child relationships during the divorce process and into the future.

    Parenting Plan Development

    As a Facilitator I will help you develop a Parenting Plan by walking you through a list of common issues, as well as your own concerns, to help you find solutions as you transition from a marital to a co-parenting relationship. Every family is unique and understanding your family will be a critical part of helping you and your spouse create a parenting plan that will work well for you, your spouse, and your children after your divorce.

    The number of meetings to complete the parenting plan may vary depending on your ability as parents to work together, level of conflict, and complexity of issues such as:

    • Custody/decision making
    • Placement/time sharing
    • Travel/vacation
    • Extracurricular Activities
    • Transitions and transportation
    • Child-care
    • Communication protocols
    • Inter-home boundaries
    • Children’s belongings
    • Scheduling concerns (holidays, birthdays, vacations)
    • Religious practice

    Child Specialist

    If you’re divorcing and have children, you are likely concerned about the impact of your divorce on your children. Regardless of your children’s ages, divorce is a time of change and can be stressful. Understanding and addressing your children’s needs can significantly improve the likelihood of their healthy long-term adjustment. In the role of a Child Specialist I can help keep you focused on what matters in your divorce – your kids!

    In the Collaborative Divorce Process my role as a Child Specialist is to remain neutral. I don’t represent you or your spouse. Instead, I will help you both remain child-focused.

    In the role of Child Specialist, I will begin by meeting with you, your spouse, and, depending on their ages, your children to understand your family dynamics, your concerns, and how your children are adjusting. I will help you and your spouse brainstorm possible options for your parenting schedule that will meet both of your needs and your children’s needs as much as possible.

    The Benefits of Using a Child Specialist

    The Child Specialist gives children a voice during this difficult time and a chance to express “what’s helping and what’s hurting” to a neutral professional without being put in the middle of the parental conflict.

    As a Child Specialist, I Can:

    • Provide education to you and your spouse on the possible effects of divorce on children and on the factors that impact children’s adjustment.
    • Meet with your children to understand their views and alleviate their concerns.
    • Help you and your spouse to recognize how your children are adjusting to family changes.
    • Discuss how to talk with your children about you and your spouse divorcing.
    • Provide guidance on how you and your spouse can transition from a marital to a co-parenting relationship.
    • Discuss strategies to help your children adjust to possible changes such as relocation, school changes, introduction of significant others, and re-marriage and stepfamilies.
    • Guide you and your spouse to remain focused on maintaining healthy parent-child relationships during the divorce process and into the future.

    Divorce Coach

    What is a Collaborative Divorce Coach?

    As a Divorce Coach I can help you navigate through the emotional terrain and practical aspects of separation. Divorce coaching can help you think more clearly to go through your divorce in a respectful and constructive manner. It helps you identify and give voice to your needs so that, together with your spouse, you can create a mutually acceptable settlement agreement. I will assist you through the necessary steps in completing the divorce process, which may include working with your legal counsel. Depending upon your needs, you and your spouse may use one neutral divorce coach, or you and your spouse may each have your own coach.

    Why use a Divorce Coach?

    As your Collaborative Divorce Coach, I will help you recognize, negotiate, and communicate your emotional concerns during the divorce process and help guide you through the emotional bottlenecks that often slow down progress during a divorce. I will redirect you and your spouse from focusing on blame to focusing on solutions. I will help you express and represent your goals, concerns, and feelings so as to avoid getting stuck in inflexible positions. I’ll help you identify what you really need from the divorce agreements.

    As a Divorce Coach I can help you reduce the hurtful and unproductive emotional struggles that many couples get caught up in when they are going through a divorce.

    By creating safe, open avenues of communication, a Collaborative Divorce Coach can help you save time and reduce the expense and destructiveness of a divorce.

    As your Divorce Coach I will:

    • Encourage respectful listening.
    • Help each of you gain perspective on the other’s point of view.
    • Assist in formulating goals for your individual futures.
    • Help you gather information about your hopes and goals for your children, and determine what both you and your spouse believe is best for them.
    • Support you and your spouse in putting your children’s needs ahead of your own.