Divorce is a process of undoing a relationship that at one point both members thought could last forever. So many of us are familiar with the anger, hurt, and grieving that comes with divorce. In the midst of that vortex of negative emotions, communication may seem impossible or extremely difficult. What if this divorcing couple has children? Does that make communication easier? Probably not, but the need for communication is paramount as these parents face the challenge of transitioning to being co-parents.
Collaborative divorce provides the combination of emotional support, assistance with financial options, and legal advice from a team of 4 professionals, two of whom remain neutral, in an out of court settlement process where the two attorneys, the coach/facilitator, and the financial professional model ways of communicating without anger and adversity, supporting the couple through the process and assisting them in learning how to communicate with each other, the value of listening, and finding ways to understand one another. Here are some examples – the use of “I message”, practicing summarizing what the other has just said, and taking “time out” and returning to the conversation.
I messages focus on the speaker owning his or her feelings – “I feel angry when you speak about me negatively.” instead of “You are such a horrible person!” I messages are even more elegant when you use the format of “I feel….when…..because…..”.
The summarizing of what the other has just said is important because we frequently don’t hear what the speaker intended to say. A summary gives the speaker a chance to say, “yes, that is what I said” or “no, there is something missing” or “not quite, let me repeat myself”. Moving along with communication where there are misunderstandings is a path to trouble.
Taking a time out is useful when communication is breaking down. An agreement to take some time away with a plan to reconvene at a particular, mutually agreeable time, is often helpful. Is give both members of the couple time to think about the situation and look at things more objectively.
The Collaborative Divorce process will assist any divorcing couple with their communication and that can be a gift the keeps on giving into the future.
To learn more about the Collaborative Divorce process please click here.
Our office is located at 99 Pine Hill Road, Nashua, NH 03063 and our phone number is (603) 321-0087.