Specialized Practice in Divorce and Recovery from Divorce1Obtaining a Divorce
1. Collaborative Divorce helps resolve the ending of a marriage without resorting to adversarial techniques or tactics. It enables the divorcing couple to work as a team with trained professionals to settle disputes respectfully, without going to court. Collaborative Divorce helps contain conflict and stress and the spread of these factors to the children.
• In collaborative divorce the non-adversarial participation by lawyers, working as a team with psychologists and other mental health professionals, allows the use of reason to solve problems, generate options and create a positive atmosphere for settlement – skills that usually are not employed in litigated cases. It transforms how families resolve conflict. Each party in the divorce has an attorney and mental health professional as advisors. Both parties and their advisors work together as a team. (A neutral financial advisor may also be on the team.) The team helps the spouses resolve conflict and reach a settlement which is a fair outcome not only for the parents but the family as a whole. Both lawyers pledge not to represent the parties if for some reason the case goes to court. This approach is far less expensive than a litigated divorce. (Collaborative divorce is also useful in the dissolution of common-law relationships and custody disputes when the parents are not married.)
• This collaborative approach helps resolve the issues in a divorce without resorting to adversarial techniques or tactics. This is a preventative approach. It prevents problems. It helps contain conflict and stress and the spread of these to the children.
• Collaborative divorce promotes respect, places the needs of children first and enables the spouses to be in control of the process.
• Psychologist(s) or other mental health professional(s) coach each spouse, assisting them in reaching a settlement. A child specialist may be used to inform the parents about special needs of the child that are being overlooked.
Professionals practicing in this specialty area are required to have a three day training in collaborative divorce, a 40 hour training program in divorce mediation and experience as a licensed mental health professional, a lawyer or a financial advisor.
Please contact me if you have any questions or require more information. You may also want to look at the following websites:
www.collaborativepractice.com (an international organization)
2. Divorce Mediation provides a structured process which helps a couple resolve issues in a divorce by reaching a mutually agreeable settlement. The mediator creates an environment where communication is facilitated and the couple can state their goals and define their mutual interests. This process works best when the couple is in general agreement about most aspects of the divorce. Learn More
1. Parenting Coordination is a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process for those parents who have difficulty implementing their parenting plans because of the ongoing conflict between them. Learn More
2. Divorce Coaching helps individuals and couples improve communication, problem solving and negotiation skills to manage conflicts that interfere with the divorce process. People learn to present their concerns in ways that are more likely to be heard and acted upon in the settlement. They also learn how they may be unknowingly hampering the divorce process. Learn More
3. Consultation for Attorneys provides information about the clients and the best ways psychologically to work with them and represent them. The strengths and weakness of a case from a forensic psychologist’s perspective are given along with an estimation of how a forensic evaluation may affect the case. Learn More
4. Pretrial Co-Parenting/Child Specialist provides information on children’s needs and assistance resolving parenting issues in attempt to reach a workable settlement.
1. Parenting Coordination enables high-conflict families to resolve recurrent disputes regarding a parenting plan. Functioning as a neutral-third party I assist the parties to implement the parenting plan, and where appropriate monitor compliance with the plan. I also may monitor psychological counseling for the children or manage cases when a parent and child are rebuilding an interrupted or damaged relationship. Working in this role I am appointed by the Court or stipulated to by the parents. Note - Parenting Coordination is used during and after the divorce. Learn More
2. Therapeutic Stabilization of Children in Divorce when there is a divorce and the parental conflict has an adverse impact on their children, I work with the children, individually and as a sibling group, to help them adjust to the parental conflict, pressures from the divorce and the changes in the family structure. Learn More
3. Therapeutic Stabilization of Parents when parental conflict adversely impacts the children, the desired route may be to work directly with the parents. For example, when the children are very young and the parental conflict is severe.
4. Co-parenting Coaching when a focus is needed on the couple being able to parent their children together as a separated or divorced couple.
5. Post-divorce Conflict Resolution is used when a focus is needed on the divorced parents being able to keep their conflict under control and where necessary to make joint decisions regarding the children.
• Therapeutic Visitation - when a parent needs active feedback to learn parenting skills or has little awareness of their inappropriate behavior
• Evaluation of the need for supervised visitation - determine whether supervised visitation is needed and/or the conditions under which supervised visitation should be reduced or eliminated. I advocate that when supervised visitation is ordered, mechanisms and criteria with which to evaluate the need for continued supervised visitation should be established.
• Determination of a visitation schedule - based on a developmental and psychological needs assessment of the children
• Therapeutic Reunification - when the custody of the children has changed to the other parent or when the children are re-establishing contact with a parent after an extended period of absence
• Emergency Case Stabilization - when the family or a member of the family is in crisis
1Note these services are focused on relationship issues and not covered by insurance.