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Interracial Couple

Collaborative Professional

I have learned that sometimes all the therapy in the world will not bring a couple back together to move forward to build a stronger, healthier marriage. Then the therapy sessions moved to how to do a good ending for theirs and their children's sake. These couples then advocated for themselves and their children in the court system ~ sometimes with parenting agreements and judgments that made moving forward difficult. I was delighted to learn of the Collaborative Law Practice that brings mental health professionals into the collaborative process to serve as neutral members ~ Divorce Coach and Child Specialist. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, trained to think and work from a systems perspective, I am uniquely qualified to bring those skills into the Collaborative Law Practice model.

Different than therapy, as a neutral member of the Collaborative Law Practice model, my role as a Trained Professional Coach allows me to help the participants in this process:
  1. Determine what is most important to be addressed and prioritize the components of the conversation.
  2. Create goals for family as well as individuals within the family.
  3. Manage highly charged feelings.
  4. Strengthen communication skills.
  5. Develop an effective parenting plan.
  6. Develop co-parenting goals, skills, and commitment.
  7. Learn conflict engagement skills.
  8. Learn conflict resolution skills.
  9. Confront uncomfortable topics and unresolved concerns.
  10. Expand options for resolution.
  11. Focus on the present concerns and future intentions.
As a Trained Collaborative Practice Child Specialist, my role allows parents:
  1. To have informtaion to help them make better decisions as they prepare to make lifetime commitments.
  2. To validate that they are doing what is best for their children and their children's future.
  3. To have special needs, concerns, and/or perspective of each child considered.
  4. To discuss anticipated difficulties inherent in co-parenting.
  5. To receive any recommendations, suggestions, or information that may help them when developing their parenting plan and co parenting commitments.

Taken from the CIACP brochure ~

The end of a marriage or relationship can be tragic enough. Often, the process of divorcing only adds to the pain. A growing number of parting couples, along with other professionals, have been seeking a more constructive altenative. These profesionals have developed the Collaboratiave Law Practice model. Collaborative Law Practice is a reasonable approach to divorce based on three principles:
  • a pledge not to go to court
  • an honest exchange of information by both spouses
  • a solution that takes into account the highest priorities of both spouses and their children
Mutual respect is fundamental to the collaborative way. When respect is given and received, discussions are likely to be more productive and an agreement reached more easily.
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