Collaborative Divorce For You and Your Family

Divorce is an emotionally complex process. Most people going through divorce will tell you that it is the most emotionally challenging experience they have ever had. There are many ways to divorce. Some are better than others.  A good life after divorce starts with the way you separate.

Your marriage started in love, perhaps even a spiritual union. You can divorce in a way that continues to honor who and what you’ve been. When you separate your lives from this place of honoring each other you keep conflicts at a minimum protecting your assets and your family going forward.

Collaborative Divorce is a team approach that supports and guides your decisions about family, finances, friends, and your future without the need for court, allowing you to keep your decisions in-house. No need to leave it to a judge to decide what is best for your family.

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Divorce is a legal, financial and emotional process (not necessarily in that order). The Collaborative team is made up of two collaboratively trained attorneys (one for you and one for your spouse), a collaboratively trained coach, and a collaboratively trained neutral financial expert, to support the legal, financial and emotional aspects of your divorce.

The Collaborative Divorce Team:

  • Your attorney  will advise you on the implications of decisions you might make. Should you keep your home, buy your partner out, or sell it? Do you need a business evaluation? How will maintenance (formerly known as alimony) and child support work?
  • In the Collaborative process I am known as the Collaborative Divorce Facilitator (CDF). I am a neutral presence in the room guiding the process, maintaining the emotional equilibrium, supporting communication, calming conflict, holding space for your future goals, and helping with parenting related needs.
  • The financial professional (FP) will meet with both of you individually to learn about your overall financial picture and how involved each of you are in your day-to-day finances. As things progress, the FP will suggest options and run the numbers to show you the ramifications of different scenarios so you are fully informed before making important decisions. How can you best divide your assets with the least financial impact? What are the tax consequences in each scenario? Which investment will incur a penalty if you withdraw or close the account? How will bonuses and other future payouts affect your agreement?

I have worked with Jeannine on several collaborative cases. Jeannine is very good at initially assessing clients for their ability to work in a collaborative manner, and in determining the relational and personal dynamics they bring. Jeannine works with clients at the table and in private sessions helping them stay focused on their stated goals and providing support for the emotional experience that is divorce. She also helps clients develop their parenting plan. ~ Bert Dempsey, Collaborative Divorce Attorney ~ Boulder, Colorado

My Role

As CDF I want to know about your family’s needs the traditions that are important to your family, the parenting schedule you’ve developed so far, if it is working for you, and what your daily schedules are like. I will check in with how your children are doing and provide both support and education on ways to reduce the impact of divorce on your children, including how to tell them of your divorce if that is needed.

As CDF I maintain the emotional equilibrium of all involved during meetings. Emotions and overwhelm can show up quickly and we don’t want those to hijack your progress. You and I will design a plan to utilize your strengths and manage your weaknesses through the process. I will help support both of you in the areas your marriage has failed you. If your communication is weak, I will be the bridge between you. If trust is gone, I will support your conversations and reframe your words in a positive way.

There are many ways I support the hurts and holes you arrive with. I am not a therapist and my role is not therapeutic. I am a relationship systems coach working with the dynamics in your relationship. Sometimes these dynamics are best handled between the two of you and me in what we call a 3-way meeting. There is no reason to pay your attorneys when the three of us can accomplish many non-legal aspects of your divorce.

Your next step:

Call me to learn more about the Collaborative Divorce process. You can use this link to get on my calendar. I’m glad to answer your questions and also speak with your spouse so you both understand the benefits of Collaborative Divorce.

If you are working through your case on your own I can provide similar support to you one-on-one. Divorce is tricky. Nobody divorcing for the first, or even second, time is (or should be) an expert. Professional  help is invaluable.

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