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Collaborative divorce training and divorce mediation for individuals and attorneys with Sherry Gorrell.

collaborative divorce

What is Collaborative Divorce using a Facilitator/Mediator?

Collaborative Divorce is a new way for you to resolve disputes respectfully — without going to court — while working with trained professionals as a Team.  The heart of Collaborative Divorce (also called “no-court divorce,” “divorce with dignity,” “peaceful divorce”) is to offer you and your spouse or partner the support, protection, and guidance of your own Lawyers without going to court. Additionally, this model of Collaborative Divorce allows you the benefit of a Facilitator/Mediator who works directly with both of you and the Attorneys as a Team.  If, and as needed, Financial and Child Specialists, Divorce Coaches and other professionals may be brought into the process.

In Collaborative Practice, core elements create your contractual commitments, which are to:

  • Negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement agreement without having courts decide.
  • Maintain open and transparent communication and information sharing.
  • Create shared solutions acknowledging the highest priorities of all.

Will it work for me?

Divorce is a sensitive personal matter. No single approach is right for everyone. Many couples do find a no-court process a welcome alternative to the often destructive, uncomfortable aspects of conventional divorce.

If these values are important to you, Collaborative Divorce is likely to be a workable option for you:

  • I want to maintain the tone of respect, even when we disagree.
  • I want to prioritize the needs of our children.
  • My needs and those of my spouse require equal consideration, and I will listen objectively.
  • I believe that working creatively and cooperatively solves issues.
  • It is important to reach beyond today’s frustration and pain to plan for the future.
  • I can behave ethically toward my spouse.
  • I choose to maintain control of the divorce process with my spouse, and not relegate it to the courts.

How does a Facilitator/Mediator work with the Collaborative Divorce Team?

If I am your first contact, I will listen to your situation and share the divorce options as I know them.  If you are intrigued by the Collaborative option and would like, I will refer you to local Collaborative Attorneys for you to speak with.  Once you each choose an Attorney to represent you in a Collaborative Divorce, as your Facilitator/Mediator I will:

  • Help Create Safe/Balanced Environment: Allowing your Attorneys to still be advocates for you
  • Use Positive/Goals/SUCCESS approach: What would a successful outcome look like for each of you?
  • Coordinate Process: Develop Participation Agreements and Communication Ground Rules with Team, Schedule Meetings, Prepare Agendas, Facilitate Meetings, Email Team Notes, Timelines, Accountability for Completion
  • Communicate Proactively: With Clients/Attorneys/Team, keeping everyone open, in the loop and ”on track” (pre-brief/debrief with Professionals w/each Meeting); Be the “go to” person if a conflict emerges
  • Facilitate Meetings with Team: Maintain “balance” in the room, make sure all voices and concerns are heard, emotions are acknowledged, all possibilities and options are looked at.  Process is client win/win focused. Both of you are empowered to create a successful outcome for both of you and your children!
  • Focus on Children: Make sure children’s needs are addressed in order to create a successful two home family parenting plan.  Bring in Child Specialist as the children’s advocate as/if needed.
  • Mediate: With you to develop successful communication tools and processes as well as work through additional emotional triggers that might be coming up.  Focus on creating a happy, healthy and successful future for you and your children.
  • Facilitate/Mediate: With Attorneys as needed to bring a neutral voice to possible challenges, always focusing on a successful outcome for you and your children.
  • Help Keep Professionals on Track: Follow-up with attorneys, financial specialists, child specialists … make sure action items such as Divorce Documents are being processed; timelines are reached.
  • Honor Your New Beginnings: Team will acknowledge completion of process and encourage your feedback!