By Patrice Courteau, MA, LMFT and Paula J. Swensen, Esq.
The ending of a marriage can be a minefield of emotions and reactions. A “no drama” divorce helps to shift a mindset from pain and unrealistic expectations to one of managing emotions, learning better communication skills, and gathering information in order to reduce anxiety of divorcing spouses.
In our experience of working together in a co-mediation process, the goal is to reduce the drama by reducing fear, managing both spouse’s expectations, and setting a course for the couple to be able to successfully navigate. We cannot overstate the value to clients of using well-trained collaborative professionals to help them manage the fear and emotion in order to achieve their best family-centered outcome.
While the legal professional is educating on the legal process and the issues presented, the mental health professional (divorce coach or child specialist) is gathering information from the spouses regarding their urgent issues and concerns, including any communication challenges.
Throughout this process, it is essential for the clients to be heard, and to feel that they have an equal voice in reaching a resolution. Often during this process, clients learn a new way to communicate with one another. … Read More “No Drama Divorce…How to Manage Fear and Expectations in a Co-Mediated Divorce Process Using Collaboratively-Trained Professionals”
By Paula J. Swensen, Esq.
Those of us of a certain age remember the immortal words of a successful football coach after whom the Super Bowl trophy was long ago named.
Vince Lombardi famously opined, “Winning isn’t everything…it’s the only thing.” That’s a pithy and fitting philosophy for a coach to use to inspire his or her team to attain greater and greater success on the football field, but we collaborative divorce professionals know that it is not so useful when it is applied in the context of a divorcing couple.
It goes without saying that everybody wants to win. No one wants to lose, regardless of the undertaking or the endeavor in which one is engaged. We know intuitively from a very young age that winning is “good,” and that losing is “bad”. We all want our team to win, and we become frustrated and sometimes angry, when our team loses. We all know from following sports that when there is a winner, there is also a corresponding loser.
This concept of “winning” is ingrained in our being from an early age, and it has now saturated our culture. We want winners, not losers when we choose employees, … Read More ““I Just Need to Win”…How Collaborative Professionals Can Help Shift the Paradigm”
By Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT, Child Specialist and Divorce Coach
“Children are like wet cement. Everything that falls on them leaves an impression.”
~ Dr. Haim Ginott, World Renowned Child Psychologist
Often married adults include as one of their New Year’s resolutions that they are going to “start a new life” by filing for divorce. For this reason, there is an increase in divorce filings in January. This is why January is National Child-Centered Divorce Awareness Month.
When parents file for divorce, how does it affect their children? It depends.
For decades, the research about children and divorce has indicated that children report that the news of their parents impending divorce and how their parents divorced made a lasting impression on them, even into their adulthood. Most parents want to prevent emotional and psychological damage to their children during and after divorce, but they do not know how to do so.
Divorce is the number one stressor for adults, second only to the death of a loved one. So, it is not surprising that divorcing parents find it difficult to be their best selves for the sake of their children. In fact, research has found that due to … Read More “January is National Child-Centered Divorce Awareness Month”
A recommended article written by Leslee J. Newman, Collaborative Attorney, Mediator, and Family Law Specialist
“A divorce with children who are not yet adults includes decisions regarding child support payment. In every state including California, there is a different formula to calculate child support. If divorcing parents go to court and request a judge to make the child support order, the statewide formula must be used to arrive at the amount of the support to be paid from one parent to the other. Find out how parents selecting an out-of-court process like collaborative divorce can create their own agreeable amount without going to court.”
Click the link below to read more.
A recommended article written by Diana L. Martinez, Collaborative Attorney, Mediator, Lecturer & Trainer
“As we enter the holidays, many divorcing couples choose to put their divorce on hold, preferring to focus on more enjoyable aspects of the season. Unfortunately, this can make for a horror movie later on. Before you slow things down, understand the potential nightmare lurking behind delays in your divorce, and how you can create a safer way to give yourself a much needed respite this holiday season.”
Click the link below to read more:
We recommend the following article titled “Seven Reasons to do a Collaborative Divorce” by John Denny, Collaborative Divorce and Mediation Attorney. John expresses some very important views on the subject of Collaborative Divorce in the Orange County Area.
You can read the entire article at: https://collaborativedivorcecalifornia.com/seven-reasons-to-do-a-collaborative-divorce/
By Cathleen Collinsworth, CDFA®, MAFF®
Do I need a financial specialist as well as a lawyer for my divorce? Won’t I be paying twice the money for two professionals to be doing the same work? As in all questions relating to divorce, the answer is, “It depends.” If the marital estate consists of assets such as a residence, retirement accounts, investments, and or credit card debts, you should consider hiring someone to assist you in fully understanding all the financial issues relating to the marital estate.
Misinformation and misconceptions about the divorce process can be detrimental. Many have false expectations that they will be able to secure a divorce settlement allowing them to continue with their accustomed style of living. Financial divorce analysis helps to ensure a good, stable economic future and prevents long-term regret with financial decisions made during the divorce process.
The financial work provided by a lawyer is not the same as that provided by a trained financial professional specializing in the divorce process. In addition, being a CPA or a CFP does not mean that individual has specific training in family law financial matters.
As you go through the divorce process, finding the … Read More “Do I need a financial specialist as well as a lawyer for my divorce?”
Marriage is supposed to last forever, but approximately half the marriages in California end in divorce. Just as couples carefully plan their weddings, if divorce occurs, the dissolution process should be carefully researched and selected.
There are many choices to transition a family when a marriage ends. One of the best ways to make an informed decision is with the assistance of the Divorce Options Workshop, a presentation which informs couples about all their divorce choices including mediation, collaborative divorce, court litigation, and self-representation.
Each Divorce Options Workshop features legal, financial, and mental health professionals who describe the different, interconnecting issues of divorce including the division of property, money, and the parenting of children. Then with information acquired from the Divorce Options Workshop, individuals and couples can more intelligently and respectfully plan their divorce through the process which best suits them and their family.
Locally, in Orange County, the Divorce Options Workshop is presented through the Community Education program at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. Information about the locations, dates, and times, of the Divorce Options Workshop is available on this CDSOC website, by contacting any of our members, or the Orange Coast College Community Education program.
By Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT
“If we don’t stand up for children, then we don’t stand for much.”
~Marian Wright Edelman, Founder, Children’s Defense Fund
Research about the effects of divorce on children indicates that:
- Each year, over 1 million American children experience the divorce of their parents.1
- Ongoing parental conflict increases kids’ risk of psychological and social problems.2
- Improving the relationships between parents and their children helps children cope better in the months and years following the divorce.3
Children are the innocent victims of divorce. Divorce ranks second only to the death of a loved one as life’s most stressful experiences.4 Litigation, which by definition is adversarial, can compound that stress exponentially due to the hostility it can engender and the exorbitant costs that parents can incur. “Combat divorce,” a common term for litigation, requires that each parent have the biggest battleship armed with the biggest guns, which take aim at the battleship of the other parent. Let’s remember that, no matter what else changes, each of these soon to be “ex-spouses” forever remains their child(ren)’s other parent. During the process of litigation, that obvious fact can become obscured in the harsh and … Read More “How To Help Your Children During Separation and Divorce”
by JANN GLASSER, LCSW, LMFT, Divorce Coach, Co-Parenting Specialist
1. Recognize and Deal with Signs of Distress in Your Children.
- Altered sleep or eating habits
- Declining scholastic performance
- Frequent, sudden or broad mood changes
- Acting out with anger, aggression, or defiance
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Lethargy or disinterest
- Infantile or other regressive behavior
- Becoming accident-prone
Excessive catering to parents, which may signal a child’s self-blame for the divorce
If you observe such behavior, contact a mental health professional. Also consider consulting with a divorce coach who can help improve communication with your children, and your ability to care for them during your divorce.
2. Step AWAY from the Buttons!
Spouses in dysfunctional marriages know well how to expose each other’s vulnerabilities and provoke each other’s anger. Use that knowledge to avoid pushing your spouse’s buttons, because anything that increases parental conflict increases the prospects for harm to your kids.
Also, use what you know about your quarrelsome co-parent to avoid confrontations. During any encounters with your spouse be careful not to convey disrespect in front of the children either by words or by body language.
3. Confirm Substantive Conversations with Your Co-Parent.
Confirming conversations in writing … Read More “7 Ways To Make a High Conflict Divorce Easier on Your Children”