Category Archives: Collaborative Practice

No Drama Divorce…How to Manage Fear and Expectations in a Co-Mediated Divorce Process Using Collaboratively-Trained Professionals

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”

“I Just Need to Win”…How Collaborative Professionals Can Help Shift the Paradigm

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”

January is National Child-Centered Divorce Awareness Month

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”

Horror Stories of the Delayed Divorce

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:

https://www.hbplaw.com/blog/2019/10/horror-stories-of-the-delayed-divorce/

Seven Reasons to do a Collaborative Divorce

Gavel on Law Book

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/

How To Help Your Children During Separation and Divorce

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”

Diana L. Martinez and Tracy McKenney Receive Eureka Award

Statewide award honors Collaborative Practice professionals

Media Contact: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR 619-997-2495 or gayle@falconvalleygroup.com

(Irvine, California) – Family law attorney Diana L. Martinez and financial professional Tracy McKenney were honored as recipients of the 2017 Eureka Award, bestowed annually by Collaborative Practice California. Martinez and McKenney received their awards at Conference XII held in Redondo Beach, California. McKenney’s award was bestowed posthumously; she served as CDSOC president before her death due to cancer in September 2016.

The Eureka Award recognizes and honors those who “have made significant contributions and demonstrated an abiding dedication to establishing and sustaining Collaborative Practice in California.”

Diana L. Martinez is a committed Collaborative professional who has tirelessly served the California Collaborative community for many years. Ms. Martinez has devoted 100 percent of her family law practice to out-of-court dispute resolution including Collaborative Practice since 2007. She is passionate about educating others about the benefits of Collaborative Practice through personal contact. Ms. Martinez is a noted trainer and educator for legal, financial, and mental health professionals locally and nationwide on family law topics including Collaborative Practice, confidentiality, cultural competency, and ethics and best practices. She has presented to state and local bar associations and legal … Read More “Diana L. Martinez and Tracy McKenney Receive Eureka Award”

John Denny takes Collaborative Practice leadership role

John Denny speaks to delegates at the 2017 Collaborative Practice California conference. Photo: David Kuroda

Will serve as 2017-2018 Collaborative Practice California Board President

Media contact: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, Fellow PRSA 619-997-2495 or gayle@falconvalleygroup.com

(Irvine, California) – Orange County family law attorney John Denny, member and past president of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County, was installed as president of Collaborative Practice California (CP Cal), the statewide organization for Collaborative Practice groups, at its annual conference in Redondo Beach, California on Sunday, April 30.

Individual members of the practice groups include Collaborative lawyers, mental health practitioners, financial specialists, and other professionals. The Collaborative Process is being used in family law, probate law, trusts and estates, and other civil law areas.

CP Cal’s mission is to unify, strengthen and support the Collaborative Practice community and to increase public awareness of the Collaborative Process throughout California.

“My goal during my tenure as Board President is to spread the word about the many benefits of Collaborative Practice in family law, civil matters, and trusts and estates,” said Denny. “Californians who must address legal or financial matters will benefit knowing about their Collaborative options for working through these critically important and sometimes contentious issues. They can resolve even the most difficult disputes while still preserving personal relationships with … Read More “John Denny takes Collaborative Practice leadership role”

Why Is Divorce So Stressful?

by Dr. Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT

“There are few blows to the human spirit so great as the loss of someone near and dear.” ~ John Bowlby, M.D.

The Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale indicates that divorce is the second highest stressor for humans, second only to the death of a spouse. Why is divorce so stressful?

When we view divorce through the lens of British psychologist, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby’s attachment theory, it helps us understand the reason why divorce is so stressful. Attachment theory states that we humans have a biological predisposition to form attachment bonds (strong emotional ties) with significant others to have a secure haven and safe base where we can thrive and return for support and comfort during times of need, stress, and crisis.

We form these attachment bonds via our relationships with other human beings who are of primary importance to us. Indeed, Dr. Dan Siegel, Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA Medical School, states, “Relationships are the most important part of our having well-being in being human. It’s that simple. And it’s that important.”

From birth to death, throughout the human life cycle, attachment bonds ensure our safety, security and even survival, and these … Read More “Why Is Divorce So Stressful?”

Orange County Collaborative Professionals Contribute Expertise at California Conference

Twelve members of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County contributed their professional expertise to the annual Collaborative Practice California (CP Cal) Conference XII, held in Redondo Beach, California from April 28 – 30.

Cathleen Collinsworth, a CP Cal Delegate for 2017-2018 and a workshop presenter, said, “This year’s theme of ‘Harnessing the Energy’ came true. The energy was very evident throughout the entire weekend. It is my hope those of us who attended can keep that energy going throughout the coming year.”

Also presenting workshops were Bart Carey, Patrice Courteau, Dr. Carol Hughes, and Diana L. Martinez.

CSDOC member and Orange County based family law attorney John Denny received the gavel from outgoing CP Cal President Lisa Zonder, and will serve as CP Cal President for 2017-2018. Also serving with Denny on the board of directors is Diana L. Martinez.

Collinsworth expressed her desire on behalf of the conference attendees to continue collaborating together in their daily work, as well as their daily lives, and continue to educate all they meet on the value of peacemaking.