Peaceful Divorce

How Can We Bridge The Gap Between Divorce Attorneys And Mental Health Professionals?

As a divorce attorney and mediator, I have often felt that a missing piece to the puzzle was the involvement of mental health professionals in the divorce process. Does anybody have the same experience and if so, any ideas on how to bridge this gap?

Views: 266

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks for that great insight Amy. Yes, it's time to recognize that we can help families in the divorce process the most as a team to facilitate a peaceful divorce.
It would help to introduce the collaborative divorce model to mental health professionals and provide CEUs in how to be an allied professional. We aren't quite "there" yet in Tennessee, but have begun the process. In our juvenile court setting, cases are screened to see if there is need for a mental health referral (Cases such as delinquency, unruly child, parent-teen, and when harm to child is alleged Our juvenile court system has jurisdiction over parenting/custody/visitation disputes when the parents are not married or when a grandparent/third party is involved or in divorce when there are allegations made about harm to the child).
It's heartening to see that our sister state of Tennessee is beginning to embrace the concept of full professional support for families going through this challenging time of transition. You may want to check out our Peaceful Divorce Model which utilizes a team approach and is an alternative to Collaborative. It has received CLE approval by the Florida Bar. We will be offering the program again to our Peaceful Divorce members soon!
Hi Cynthia:

I think part of the problem is the nature of the gap itself. The legal arena is one often dominated by an adversarial framework and approach, whereas as a mental health professional, this was anathema to me. The last thing I wanted was to create more adversarial energy between my clients.

This difference in framework results in a very differing approach, set of terms, use and purpose of languaging, etc. These are often in opposition themselves, and I have found that attorneys who are traditionally-minded often don't see or recognize the importance of the fundamental place of the viewpoint that mental health professionals bring to the discussion for their client's sakes.

I think we bridge the gap by getting out of the adversarial mind-set, into the collaborative divorce framework, just as is advocated here. A little bit of cross-training in each discipline would help too.


Become an affiliate of the Happily Divorced! book and audio program! Let Reformed "Killer" Divorce Attorney, Cynthia Tiano, and Dr. Max Vogt, Marriage and Family Psychologist, take you on an adventure into the lives of two families going through the divorce legal system - one doing "legal battle" and the other creating a "peaceful divorce". Learn how to create a Win-Win from their experiences...


Latest Activity

Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

What Is a Caucus?

One of the guiding values in mediation and collaborative law is transparency. It comes with the territory when one is trying to establish trust with two different parties. Sometimes an issue may arise that one party may wish not to discuss in front of the other. If they both agree, separate meetings may take place. These meetings are called caucuses.Caucuses can be…See More
Oct 22, 2019
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

How Important Is the Budget in Divorce Planning?

I think everyone’s least favorite word is BUDGET. Why don’t we want to hear that word? Think about it: We’re asking ourselves to do something we don’t want to do — or worse yet, someone else is asking us to do it. While we might not like them, having a budget does help. In divorce planning — whether you are going to litigation,…See More
Sep 18, 2019
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

21st Century Parenting Plans

I remember when the default custody arrangement had one parent as the custodial parent, and the other parent was known as the “Disneyland parent.” They had their children every other weekend, and maybe once during the week for dinner. Today it is more common to see joint parenting time consist of one week on, and one week off or “two-two-five-five” time,…See More
Aug 15, 2019
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

Including a Financial Professional in Your Mediation

Very often, couples who are divorcing amicably, or who have straightforward financial situations, will forgo meeting with a financial professional while they go through mediation. Though this may seem logical on its face, “going it alone” may result in unnecessary hardship and inaccurate calculations.  It is easy to simply look at a tax table today and say “I am going…See More
Jul 30, 2019
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

What About the House?

Going through divorce means dealing with hundreds of details, some more important than others. One detail that merits extra contemplation is how to deal with the marital home.Does one spouse want to keep it because the children still live there? You don't want to disrupt their lives any more than is already happening. What if the children are grown? Do you still need that much of a house?Here are the three most common means of dealing with the house in divorce:Selling the house and dividing the…See More
Apr 24, 2019




© 2023   Created by Cynthia Tiano, Esq..   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service