Divorce and Family Issues

Divorce with Dignity: A New Approach to Resolving Family Conflict

How many horror stories have you heard from friends or family members who have spent a great deal of time and money going through the process of divorce or other family law conflict? Have you noticed friends or family members lose sleep, become physically ill and emotionally worn down as they live through protracted litigation and hours of time spent with attorneys and judges trying to resolve their family conflict? Have you noticed how the children of friends and family suffer from the highly aggressive tactics often utilized by parents and attorneys during family conflicts such as divorce, custody disputes and child support disputes? There is more than one way to resolve family conflict. Litigation is the most expensive method for resolving family conflict, both financially and emotionally. When parents decide to resolve their conflict through the traditional method of litigating in our court system, they begin the process as adversaries and from a perspective of winning and losing. Even though many litigated cases are resolved through mediation, the road to mediation is paved with court filings, gamesmanship, legal strategizing and posturing by parents and attorneys in an effort to intimidate or bully the other side into agreeing to their terms. Often parents are either worn down by the litigation process or have become so angry at one another during the litigation process that neither side is happy even when they reach a mediated settlement agreement. There is an alternative to the traditional method of resolving family conflict; it is Collaborative Practice also referred to as Collaborative Divorce. When parents decide to start the conflict resolution process by choosing to proceed collaboratively, they have already increased the chances that they will get through this painful experience with dignity and respect for each other. How parents resolve their family conflict makes a difference, not only to themselves but more importantly to their children.

Resolving family conflict using the Collaborative Practice method provides you with a different way to divorce or to resolve any other type of family dispute. Participating in the collaborative process gives you the opportunity to resolve your conflict without having to resort to financially and emotionally expensive litigation. Collaborative Practice is a cost-effective, problem-solving approach that can minimize the impact of conflict on you and your children. You will be supported by professionals with the right expertise to guide and inform you along the way. The results are legally binding agreements that resolve the issues facing your family. With the information and guidance you need, you are empowered to make the sound, long-lasting decisions that will impact you and your family for years. The Collaborative Practice process preserves your privacy and your dignity while giving you the best possible chance at resolving your disputes respectfully.

Collaborative Practice includes the assistance of a mental health professional dedicated to helping you and your (ex)spouse or the parent of your children recognize the importance of communicating effectively and respectfully in order to protect your children from the negative aspects of divorce or other family conflict and to assist you in making thoughtful decisions about you and your co-parent’s shared future with your children and your individual future as single parent.

Collaborative Practice may also include the assistance of a financial professional dedicated to assisting your family in navigating the unforeseen and sometimes complex financial issues that arise as a result of divorce or other family conflict. Untangling the family finances, distributing assets and debts are a necessary part of every divorce and can cause a great deal of stress for both parties. There are additional financial issues that impact child support and payment of medical or educational expenses for your children. A financial professional trained in the Collaborative Practice process is a neutral expert uniquely equipped to provide you and your spouse or co-parent the guidance you need to resolve the financial aspects of your conflict.

Divorce or the ending of a long-term relationship is a sensitive and personal matter. No single approach is right for everyone. Many couples find Collaborative Practice to be a welcome alternative to the often destructive, and sometimes very expensive aspects of court proceedings.

Susan has over 25 years of experience in the practice of Family Law, including such areas as divorce and separation, child custody, child support, adoptions, child abuse and neglect, juvenile court practice, paternity, dependency and neglect, and post-divorce modifications of parenting schedules, child support and alimony.

If you would like more information or to schedule a consultation please visit Susan’s website

For more information on Collaborative Practice please visit the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals at www.collaborativepractice.com and the Memphis Collaborative Alliance at https://collaborativedivorcememphis.org

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