WHAT IS A COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE?

 

Collaborative Divorce approaches divorce as a problem to be solved

rather than a war to be had.

Divorce or the ending of a long-term relationship is a sensitive and personal matter. No single approach is right for everyone. Many couples find Collaborative Divorce to be a welcome alternative to the often destructive, and sometimes very expensive aspects of court proceedings. This process allows the couple and family to have legal, financial, and emotional support during a difficult time of transition, without going to court. By not pursuing litigation, you are giving yourself the best chances of preserving a relationship with your spouse, particularly if you are going to be co-parenting. Through the support of a team involving two attorneys, a financial neutral and a collaborative divorce coach, you are able to address your family's unique needs and explore creative solutions to come to a mutually durable agreement.

If the following values are important to you, Collaborative Divorce is likely to be a workable option for you:

  • I want us to communicate with a tone of respect.
  • I want to prioritize the needs of our children.
  • My needs and those of my spouse/partner require equal consideration, and I will listen objectively.
  • I believe that working creatively and cooperatively resolves issues.
  • It is important to reach beyond today's frustration and pain to plan for the future.
  • I can behave ethically toward my spouse/partner.
  • I choose to maintain control of the divorce/separation process with my spouse/partner, and not relegate it to the courts.

 

Collaborative Divorce Coach

The Divorce Coach is a guide to this process for the couple and other professionals involved. The Coach is neutral, and therefore not aligned with either client, allowing both clients to have their needs, desires, and concerns be heard throughout the process. This is not therapy, but can often be a healing aspect of divorce promoting greater self-understanding and letting go of what was not working within the marriage. Emily Heird will meet with each client individually at least twice in the beginning of the process and then assess together the best ways for you to receive support throughout the divorce.

Collaborative DIvorce Child Specialist

The Child Specialist is a voice for children in the divorce process. The Child Specialist attends to the emotional needs of the child through 2-3 interview sessions to allow the child's experience be a part of making parenting plan decisions that are in the best interest of the child(ren). Prior to the child interview sessions, Courtney Brandon will meet with parents individually at the beginning of the process to discuss challenges and goals as they relate to the divorcing couple's child(ren) and co-parenting. As with the Divorce Coach role, this is not therapy, but can be a time for parents to reflect on the wishes and concerns of their children in order to work toward healthy post-divorce parent-child relationships. 

Find out more on Collaborative Divorce options in Knoxville at: knoxvillecollaborativedivorce.com

Emily Heird was trained in Collaborative Divorce in 2015 and is also a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

Courtney Brandon was trained in Collaborative Divorce in 2016 and is also a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals