For Individuals and Couples Considering Divorce
Are you confused about which type of Massachusetts divorce process would best suit your needs and the needs of your family? How can you know which of the various alternatives (court based, collaborative divorce, mediation, or arbitration) is the right choice for you?
And where can you get answers to your most important questions such as: How do you even know when it’s time to leave the marriage? What’s the best way to get the transition started? How do you talk to and pick the right divorce professionals? How will you talk with the children, other family members, and friends about what is going on?
Divorce coaching can help. You can learn:
About the different ways to get divorced, hear the specifics, and then decide which process might be the best fit for you and your family’s needs, goals, and values.
You can prepare yourself to interview and select the right divorce professional for you and your family. You can learn how to get the information you will need to prepare yourself emotionally and get the process started.
You can explore ways to talk with your children about the changes in store for your family. You can learn how to initiate an ongoing conversation between you and your children to help keep your family relationships close and to minimize the negative impacts of transitioning your family.
You can learn how to talk with others about your decision to divorce (or how not to talk about it if you’d like to preserve your privacy).
Collaborative Divorce Coaching
Divorce is an emotionally complex process. The collaborative divorce coach facilitator helps to create a structure within which clients can feel emotionally supported, safe, and in which they can work productively and do their best decision making.
The coach is an essential member of the collaborative divorce professional team and works closely with both clients and with the collaboratively trained attorneys. As the ‘neutral’ member of the team (hired by both spouses, not just one) the collaborative coach is charged with establishing a safe and productive working environment for each client, facilitating all meetings, and assuring that the needs of each individual and all family members are addressed and incorporated into the divorce agreement.
The coach works with each client individually to identify interests and needs and to establish a good working relationship. The collaborative coach also studies each client’s communication, learning, and conflict resolution styles and helps to ensure that this information is incorporated, to customize the collaborative process to fit clients’ needs.
The coach also works ‘behind the scenes’ with the attorneys and others who may comprise the professional team. As a prelude to the team meetings that are the foundation of the collaborative process, the coach works with the other professionals to define and establish the team, inform them of each clients’ particular learning and communications styles, gives voice to client’s goals and facilitates the process.
The coach facilitator is present at all team meetings and provides feedback, psycho-educational information and helps with skill building (i.e.- for enhanced communications and conflict resolution and problem solving) as needed.
Coaches also work with clients to help them transition successfully from spouses to ex-spouses to co-parents. The collaborative coach assists clients to make the shift and to work productively on creating or updating a co-parenting schedule and plan that is realistic, practical, and takes into account the unique needs and circumstances of each family.
Betsy Ross, LICSW