Tampa Bay Psychologists Jeremy Gaies and James Morris were recently on the Divorce Without Destruction Podcast to discuss their book, Mindful Co-Parenting. The also discussed the interdisciplinary collaborative family law process.
Mindful Co-Parenting is an instructive, supportive, and easy to read book for parents who are going through divorce (or for parents who were never married but are coming up with a parenting plan/custody schedule for their children). You can find both Part 1 and Part 2 of the podcast, hosted by Dr. Garin Vick, below (Part 2 is after the jump):
Dr. Morris and Dr. Gaies point out that the vast majority of parents love their children and only want the best for their kids; yet the children’s needs can oftentimes get lost in the adversarial divorce process. Studies show that children whose parents engage in a high conflict divorce are the ones who suffer the most negative consequences. Even when both parents love their children, they can sometimes have very different views about what is best for the kids, and the fight over what to do can oftentimes be much worse for the children compared to just making one decision or the other.
Dr. Gaies and Dr. Morris suggest that parents pick the divorce process that is best for them. If they agree on all parenting issues, and have little to no assets and debts to divide, then mediation or a do-it-yourself divorce may be best for the family. If the divorce is more complicated, than for most families a collaborative divorce is likely to be the best process. Psychologically speaking, only as a last resort and in extreme situations (such as when there is severe mental illness or ongoing domestic violence) should parties consider going through the litigation process.
The doctors emphasize that there is a way to go through divorce peacefully, even when one of the spouses is seen as difficult. Collaborative practice oftentimes uses facilitators who are psychologists or mental health counselors, and it is unique in that it uses a team approach. Dr. Gaies and Dr. Morris reported how, in many of their cases, they have seen divorcing spouses provide emotional support to one another during settlement discussions. It is also not uncommon for one spouse’s attorney to reach out to the other spouse to provide him or her comfort during difficult discussions.
Dr. Morris, Dr. Gaies, Dr. Vick, and Adam B. Cordover are all members of Florida’s largest collaborative practice group, Next Generation Divorce.
As a side note, The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., is now a sponsor of the Divorce Without Destruction Podcast, and we are proud to help families learn more about the collaborative divorce process.
If you have questions about how your family can benefit from the collaborative process, schedule a consultation with Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.