From the Mental Health Point of View
As a therapist, I have witnessed the damage done to many families who had only the choice of a traditional adversarial divorce at the time of their separation. The litigation model has the couple facing off against each other and the goal of their lawyers was to win as much as possible for their clients. It’s all about the deal. While this approach works well in some areas where litigants won’t see each other again at the end of their case, this does not apply to moms and dads.
Fortunately today, divorcing couples have the option of Collaborative Divorce, which as its name implies, encourages couples to create an agreement that’s about the family, not only the deal. In order to raise healthy children, parents will be working together in the future to ensure their well-being. While older and adult children may be less dependent, they still count on their parents to relate responsibly to them and to each other.
It takes more maturity than most of us have initially to divorce in a sane and compassionate way. A good divorce requires a giant leap in self-control and in the ability to control reactivity. This is where the mental health professional on the Collaborative team makes a contribution. The lawyers work on resolving the legal issues of a marriage while the mental health or divorce coach team member works with one or both clients on the emotional, psychological and child-related ramifications of the dissolution.
The goal of the Collaborative Divorce team is to help you and your spouse come to a reasonable settlement, understand your financial future, meet the needs of your children and maintain your privacy. The most important result from the mental health perspective is that psychological and emotional damage to your family can be avoided or greatly reduced, rather than needing major repair work after a litigated divorce.