We Don’t Communicate Well. Can Collaborative Divorce work for us? 

By Jeannine Lee

The short answer is Yes. Absolutely. So let’s talk about how. Communication is at the heart of every marriage. In fact, communication breaking down often leads to divorce.

The Collaborative Divorce process offers a team model. Collaborative Team Divorces are legal, financial and emotional/relational. The three prongs of the Collaborative Team cover all three of these areas of need.

The legal and financial areas are easily understood by most everyone, but what most divorcing people don’t understand is that your emotions and the relational difficulties that were present in your marriage will carry through to your divorce, often magnified.

Collaboratively Trained Professionals:

Each professional on the Collaborative Team is Collaboratively trained. This allows us, among other things, to model productive, needs-based communication. By observation, you are then able to take your communication skills to a higher level.

The Collaborative Divorce Facilitator (CDF)/Coach helps you get clear on your thoughts, and speak them in a non-triggering way, allowing your partner to hear you rather than just react to your words. Without this kind of guidance you may errantly speak from a victim place. “I’m miserable and it is your fault.” “You always…” “Well you never…” “If you hadn’t done…” The CDF helps you understand your triggers and respond in a more resourceful, healthier way.

Keep Costs Down:

To keep costs down we don’t meet often in 6-way meetings (the two of you and your 4-person professional team) instead we may meet in 3-way meetings (the 2 of you and the CDF and/or Financial Professional) where you will receive more specific instruction and support regarding your communication skills.

  • Learn to catch yourself before you say something that will hurt your cause.
  • Identify the things that are most important to you so you can speak them in a way that others can hear.
  • If needed a 3-way meeting can provide the opportunity and support to say hard things that need to be said in order to move forward.

Unlike other ways of ending a marriage, the Collaborative Divorce process supports even the most fragile and unworkable aspects of the ways you’ve related in the past so you can get through your divorce and ultimately have a good life and better communication on the other side.  This is especially important for co-parents. It is worth looking into as a possible way to navigate your divorce.