There’s no getting around the fact that divorce is difficult and painful. And yet, not all divorces are the same. To the contrary, some methods to separate are designed to be adversarial and others are designed to be holistic.
In the short video below, produced by the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals, social worker Gary Direnfeld discusses collaborative divorce, which he views as a good way to separate. Direnfeld filmed this clip at the 7th Annual Conference of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
Social Worker Discusses A Good Separation
Considering divorce? Consider choosing the #CollaborativeProcess for a less adversarial way to resolve your dispute.Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW Collaborative Law International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP)
Posted by Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals – FACP on Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Below is a lightly edited transcript of Gary Direnfeld, who is a prominent advocate for peaceful family solutions in Ontario, Canada, and a regular columnist for the Hamilton Spectator:
Hey Florida. You might be in a miserable separation situation and looking to divorce, and you are wondering, “How do I go about this? Do I really need to go to court?”
The answer is no. The answer is Collaborative Family Law, also known as Collaborative Divorce or Collaborative Process.
Really, what it means is that you meet roundtable: You, yourself, your lawyer, and your partner’s lawyer, along with any other professional that might be needed.
This is a way to separate reasonably, without the acrimony.
I’m from Toronto, Canada, and I’m here to tell you that this is a good way to separate.
I’m sorry that you are in this situation, but this is how you go through it more peacefully.
Why Is Collaborative Divorce More Peaceful?
One big reason that collaborative divorce is a more peaceful way of separation is that the collaborative process prohibits attorneys from fighting in court. This means that the attorneys only exert time, energy, and efforts finding common ground between the spouses, rather than finding evidence against them.
Additionally, rather than using a judge, the collaborative process usually utilizes the services of a neutral mental health professional, also known as a facilitator. The facilitator does not perform therapy. Rather, he or she is there to help ensure that communication between the spouses remains productive and forward-focused. The point is not to rehash the arguments of the past.
Further, the facilitator can help parents focus on what is most important to them: their children. The facilitator will work with them to tailor a parenting plan to meet the children’s developmental need.
Both spouses, both attorneys, and the facilitator (and any other professional involved) work as a team. The lawyers are not opposing counsel, and the spouses are not opposing parties. Rather, everyone is working together to find a resolution. At the end, both spouses can move on with their lives with the least disruption to their kids.
Find Out More About A Good Way To Separate
If you are considering separation or divorce, do yourself and your family a favor and learn more about collaborative family law.
Adam B. Cordover is a collaborative attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator. He is co-author of a 2018 American Bar Association Book on collaborative divorce. Further, Adam is a trainer and has presented on collaborative family law around the U.S., Canada, and Israel.