Collaborative Divorce Process

Collaborative divorce process is a relatively new way for couples to divorce. In this process an interdisciplinary team is created to accomplish the multifaceted problem solving required in the divorce process. The collaborative divorce process always involves an attorney for each party, one or more mental health coaches, and sometimes a neutral financial specialist. Working with you together as a team, they seek to contain conflict and to help you restructure from a single-family system into a two family system. This team system forms a safety net that helps you through difficult situations, emotional struggles, conflictual problem solving, and joint planning for the needs of children.

“Working together, the team can take a couple through the process without causing more damage.”

Each professional does his or her respective job. The attorneys look out for your legal interests, the mental health coach helps manage the emotional well-being of you and the children, and the financial specialist works to reconfigure your financial arrangements. Such support for the family offers the knowledge base for dealing with the issues, a balanced approach to problem solving, and a support system necessary to care for individuals in the middle of a terrible time. Working together, the team can take a couple through the process without causing more damage to an already hurting and fragile system.

Advantages of Collaborative Divorce

The collaborative divorce process also seeks to conserve both your emotional and financial resources. Mental health coaching can address the emotional forces that drive conflict and significantly reduce their damaging effects. Consequently there can be a more effective use of the professional skills of all involved, including the more efficient use of specific legal services. In addition to supporting the mental well-being of participants, the mental health coach can save the enormous legal costs of a child custody evaluation or battle.

Divorce is an emotionally complex process which generates a range of intense feelings. People going through divorce will often say that it is the most emotionally challenging, difficult and complicated thing they ever experienced. Given that this process occurs at the end of a long and painful struggle in the marriage, people bring a wide array of emotional upset to their divorce process. In a divorce process, when people are most emotionally upset, they are expected to make the largest financial and child care decisions of their lives.

HerschDeMaio Collaborative Divorce Coaching

“No two collaborative divorces are the same; people need individualized support tailored to their situation and circumstance.”

Drs. Tom DeMaio and Lee Hersch are both trained in the interdisciplinary divorce process. They are licensed clinical psychologists, each with three decades of experience, who practice with individuals, couples, and children. As seasoned clinicians, they have experience working with family systems, individual dynamics, and the post-divorce needs of parents and children. As consultants to organizations, both are seasoned team players in an interdisciplinary process.

HerschDeMaio mental health coaching is focused on helping divorcing couples get through the process in a healthy and productive manner. Drs. DeMaio and Hersch are comfortable coaching an individual or acting as a neutral party serving all members of the family. The coaching process includes:

  • Assessing the basic dynamics that operated in the marriage and mitigating their consequences in the divorce endeavor.
  • Determine behavioral and emotional goals for getting through the divorce and growing afterward.
  • Helping participants come to terms with the losses they face in the divorce. These losses usually include companionship, family, time with children, and money.
  • Examining options for solutions to difficult problems.
  • Constructing the “divorce story” for your children. Creating healing discussions with the children. Establishing healthy custody arrangements.
  • Moving forward in life.

As psychologists and consultants, HerschDeMaio is aware of the subtle distinction between psychotherapy and coaching. Participants may already be working with a therapist. Such relationships can be maintained and coordinated in the divorce process. Coaching generally takes a more immediate problem-solving approach, though it may include help with ending emotional battles. Its primary goal is to get people through the divorce in the healthiest manner possible. The hallmark of HerschDeMaio Associates is designing services targeted to the unique needs of our clients. No two collaborative divorces are the same; people need individualized support tailored to their situation and circumstance.

  1. February 2, 2011 at 10:21 am

    This is certainly an agreeable method which should have a massive impact on proceedings due to the already mentioned negative ‘psychological factors’ which reside within the divorced person/couple. We offer legal guidance for divorce in Cheshire and will try to develop this approach, which will likely limit the trauma felt.

  2. September 8, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Collaborative divorce is certainly a better model than traditional contested divorces because communication is stressed. That said, it can still be expensive and unnecessary in some cases. For longer marriages with complex economic issues, I do believe it is worthwhile. Mediation and uncontested divorce should be explored too.

    • September 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      Yes, collaborative divorce can be expensive. You are focusing on the complex economic issues and I would focus on the healing aspects of the process. Collaborative process can be a way that couples transition out of marriage where they are protected and encouraged to recover. This is essential for families with children. For everyone the separation process is very dicey. Rather than just get through the legal aspects, the process can be supportive and instructive. I would say that collaboration is almost always better than a custody battle. Thanks for the comment.
      Tom DeMaio

  3. March 11, 2012 at 5:15 am

    Collaborative divorce normally requires a non-adversarial strategy to the divorce technique. If properly executed, it can save a important number of time, heartache and expense in the prolonged run.

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