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Divorce = Stress, starting with the very first thought of it. And one of the most stressful aspects is the divorce procedure itself. As a personal life coach and Divorce Coach, I work with people going through divorce and I have always wondered if there could be a way for the divorce process to be more civil, calm and respectful. And now there is. It’s a relatively new model for divorce that not only reduces the amount and degree of conflict, but it also provides greater benefits to the divorcing couple, their children, and any others involved, such as extended family.
This model is Integrative Divorce Mediation. And it is cost effective because conflicts are handled more effectively when they occur.
What sets Integrative Divorce Mediation apart from other avenues of divorce? First, here are the most used options available to a divorcing couple.
1. Do it yourself method. This is a viable approach for a simple divorce, such as when there are no children involved, not a lot of assets, and no need for spousal support. It could also work for those who are divorcing very amicably.
2. Litigious processes. This is when each spouse has their own attorney who support them individually to work out an agreement It is adversarial by nature and often expensive and drawn out because of this.
3. Attorney mediation. Attorneys that are trained mediators can help a couple come to resolution and avoid having to go to court. This process is best for those couples that are not having emotionally difficult conflicts or parenting conflicts.
4. Collaborative process. This is a process where a team of professionals supports the couple in reaching resolution in a cooperative and respectful way. In this method, each spouse does have their own attorney (who is collaboratively trained), as well as their own collaborative divorce coach. Often a child specialist and financial specialist (both neutral) are also part of the team. The team works together collaboratively, rather than as opponents to find solutions. This method is best for couples with complex situations and the financial resources to pay for the extra professionals.
Perhaps you notice that there is a gap in these options? Integrative Divorce Mediation was developed to fill that gap, and it has the potential to become the most preferred and most common divorce process.
There has been too much damage from the process of divorce. It’s painful enough to end a relationship, but often the divorce process itself can be the most painful and difficult part of the divorce. It has a tendency to trigger everyone’s fear – fear of the future, fears about money, fears about being lovable, fear for the well-being of the children, and on and on. No one who is fearful and stressed out ever shows up at the divorce negotiation with the strength they need to make good decisions and negotiate fairly. The Collaborative process described above is designed to help with this. Each spouse has a coach to help them process emotions and communicate effectively. However, not everyone can afford the collaborative practice and it can be completely overwhelming to enter into negotiations with so many professionals.
The Integrative Divorce Mediation approach is much less overwhelming and designed to take the fear out of divorce. There is one attorney and one Divorce Coach, both of whom operate as neutral mediators. No one is representing any one person or taking sides. Instead, the couple benefits from coaching as needed, and legal advice as needed, with mediators who specialize in helping couples have less fear about outcome, and come to resolutions in a supportive and efficient way. With Integrative Divorce Mediation, the divorce process itself is not damaging, and the couple’s future encounters will likely be much more respectful. Further, there is improvement in the chance for outcomes to be best for all involved.
I have been Divorce Coaching for years, and when I discovered Integrative Divorce Mediation, I became a certified divorce mediator in Santa Rosa, CA. Now, I am also able to help improve the conditions and environment for couples going through divorce. I hope this Integrative Divorce Mediation method goes viral!