The three models mentioned above use similar tools as the collaborative divorce process - involving financial professionals, attorneys, and, when necessary, mental health professionals. I utilize tools from the collaborative process:
While Pauline's and Peggy's book is excellent "homework" for clients, I started using the hopes and goals during actual mediation sessions. I explain to couples that their hopes and goals don’t necessarily all have to be positive statements - sometimes couples have radically different agendas. An agenda item that is almost universally agreed-upon is wanting to do what's best for their children.
When we start each session, we review each person’s list of hopes and goals and make any necessary changes. Then we hang them on the wall where the parties can see them. If tempers flare, we take a moment to refocus by referring to the lists posted on the wall. I'm always surprised at how taking the time to refocus allows emotions to calm down so the couple can return to working on the issues.
Every divorce has different issues with different outcomes and solutions. An integrated mediation model allows me to introduce couples to coaches who can handle the emotional side of divorce, leaving me to do what I do best - the financial side. It also allows us to have attorneys available when they are needed to solve legal issues. In future blogs, we’ll discuss how other types of divorce professionals can be beneficial in divorce.