When a couple divorces, emotions are high, words become heated, and stress levels are piqued. Both parties are on edge and their main focus is getting through the process in one piece. Unfortunately, sometimes there is a third-party who doesn't have a voice - children. In a Collaborative Divorce, a neutral voice is there to help all parties.
The collaborative divorce process is a more respectful and dignified way to move through the normal conflict of a divorce. It is not a magic answer that soothes all problems, but it helps all parties involved to navigate a little smoother. In the midst of high emotions, communicating effectively can be difficult. The neutral serves as a facilitator to guide all parties through the process. What parents may not realize or just not think of during a heated moment is that children see and hear everything. They pick up not only the words but also the tone of voice of their parents. Children will internalize the stress and emotions of their parents. The effects of stress on a child are heartbreaking and long lasting. A facilitator's goal is to teach parents:
Ways to communicate so there is less stress
How to figure out what their goals and ideas are
Ways to work together more productively so children are less stressed
How not to put children in the middle
These skills help parents learn how to create safety and security for their children. One of the greatest advantages of a Collaborative Divorce is having a facilitator there to remind parents to look at what is best for everyone - most importantly the children. A facilitator is there to be an advocate for children to make sure their needs are not lost in all the emotions and decision-making. Utilizing those skills, parents can successfully work within their current situation and set the foundation for future experiences.
These skills can benefit children even after the divorce is final. Just because parents are divorced does not mean they will never see each other again. There will be birthdays, graduations, weddings, and children need their parents there for every step of the way. Employing the skills learned helps parents to facilitate a low-stress atmosphere whatever the occasion may be. Therefore, the child(ren) can enjoy their moment because the focus will be on the event and not on mom and dad.
A Collaborative Divorce truly is client, child, and family centered. The approach focuses on respectful resolution and is mindful of the emotions, interests, and goals of all parties involved. For more information, please contact us.