Separation & DivorceDeciding to work on your marriage, or separate with the goal to divorce, is both significant and challenging. I would like to help you change the “Divorce Conversation.” Consider these facts:
- Over 50% of first marriages end in divorce.
- Over 60% of second marriages end in divorce.
- Over 40% of children come from divorced families.
Based on these numbers, we can no longer afford to look at divorce as an ending, a decision resulting in a “failed” or “broken” family. We need to divorce with dignity and learn to view these marriages as no longer “good fits.” For the sake of our children, we must look toward a post-divorce future of a successfully restructured family with two healthy co-parents.
Is It Time To End Your Marriage?
Contemplating the end of your marriage can be a stressful time in your life. You and your spouse had planned to be together forever. You never planned to divorce.
Ending a marriage is an important decision. It should be made thoughtfully, and over time. It should never be made in anger or frustration. If you or your spouse are contemplating divorce but are still unsure, discernment therapy is a short-term “one last look” at the marriage. Often, one spouse is emotionally “out the door,” and the other spouse is intensely interested in working on the marriage to save it.
I can provide you with a safe place to explore all the emotions around maintaining or ending your marriage. Together we can look at the strengths of the marriage, as well as the issues that divide you. We will work to help each spouse understand the other in order for the couple to ultimately decide on a direction for the marriage.
The Decision To Divorce
Divorce is a major life transition and is life-altering for your family. You may feel loss, anger, betrayal and confusion. Your future, which once seemed certain, is now unclear. You are faced with the perceived unravelling of a family, extended family, social and community life. Your financial security may seem at risk. You may feel anxious, and out of control.
If you do not address divorce emotions constructively, the divorce process can be a destructive journey. You and your spouse can become enemies. Attorneys who “stir the pot” can interfere with the process. It can be a challenge to think clearly and make sound decisions about your future. Children suffer in the midst of warring and distracted parents.
Divorce does not have to be a major life trauma.
As an experienced Family Transition Therapist/Divorce Mediator, I can help you to:
- think clearly
- address your emotions
- explore your options
- make good decisions
It is important to understand that you and your spouse will be co-parents forever. The way you divorce, and particularly how you behave during the divorce process, can significantly affect the future mental health of your children.
Before You Select An Attorney
If you have already determined to separate or divorce, or if the decision has been made for you, you have options regarding how to navigate the divorce process. The divorce process that you choose (litigation, arbitration, mediation, or collaborative divorce) is significant. The attorneys you select will determine the “tone” of your negotiations.
- I can outline for you and your spouse the various divorce options, and help you explore the ones best suited for your family.
- I can help you to talk to your children about separating. We will work on talking points and an interactive “scripted” divorce conversation based on your child/children(s) developmental age.
- I can help you discuss separating your residences, or beginning the separation process while remaining under the same roof. We can talk about boundaries, appropriate behavior, and keeping the needs of your child/children “front and center.”
- I can refer you to an attorney. I have sat at the table with all of the attorneys to whom I refer. I know the ones who work well together, and the ones who negotiate in good faith and without “stirring the pot.” It is important that you understand that divorce does not end family connection, but bitterness, bad faith, and contentious negotiations do.
My goal is to help my clients become educated legal consumers in the divorce process. I will work to help transition you from a two-parent household with a relationship bonded by marriage to two, one-parent households with a relationship bonded by healthy co-parenting.
Collaborative Divorce: A Family-Friendly Option
Collaborative divorce is a family-friendly divorce negotiation process that takes place outside of the court system. This option is an excellent one for those who believe that decisions about their families, themselves, and their children do not belong in a court system that is based on an adversarial win/lose philosophy.
Collaborative divorce is a method of dispute resolution in which each spouse retains an attorney to advocate for his/her interests and help negotiate on his/her behalf. Collaborative divorce is a process of divorce negotiation that is based on goals. We look at what is important to each parent and what they want for their children.
The collaborative divorce process strives to protect children and keep their needs central, while coaching parents towards a future of healthy co-parenting.
I work with attorneys on collaborative divorce teams. I mediate all things emotional and having to do with the children, including custody and parenting time. As a Family Transition Specialist, I mediate to help my clients feel safe, manage their emotions, communicate their needs more effectively, and regain a sense of control and empowerment. I will provide you with the opportunity to divorce in a manner you can feel proud of.
Co-Parenting and Parenting Coordination
Children do best when supported in a positive relationship with both parents. This is challenging for parents who are going through their own emotional journey of hurt and anger. Co-parenting is an ongoing, supportive, and educational process that focuses on the needs of the children and helps parents work together as a team, oftentimes more successfully than when they were married.
Parent coordination is a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process. I work with parents during their divorce, and after their divorce, to help:
- resolve child-related conflicts
- implement their parenting plan
- co-parent their children in a healthy way
- facilitate the timing and process of introducing significant others to the children
- work on issues of remarriage and blended families.
I provide education and make recommendations based on the child/children’s developmental needs, seeking to avoid high conflict behaviors that cause unnecessary stress and result in additional legal fees.
The divorce process takes parents from a relationship bonded by marriage to a relationship bonded by co-parenting. You and your spouse will be co-parents forever. There will be discussions around extended family, children’s milestones (birthdays, graduations, weddings, grandchildren), education, and the general support needed to raise a family. I will help you explore your options, express your needs, and make educated decisions in the best interests of your children.