Category Archives: Creative Divorce Solutions

What is a Divorce Coach and Why Do I Need One?

Divorce Coach and Spouse Talking About Divorce - Collaborative Divorce of Orange County

The Divorce Coach: A Vital Member of the Professional Collaborative Team

As has been proven, the collaborative model works so well because all of the members of the collaborative team play an equally-critical role in the success of the collaborative process. We know that emotions can run high during a divorce. We also know that emotions can get in the way of rational thinking, and the ability to access the cognitive areas of our brain, which is critical for effective problem-solving. Divorce Coaches are best-suited to help clients move past the emotion of a given impasse, and past the high emotions of the divorce itself, and to help clients focus on realistic options to obtain a more favorable outcome for their families.

What is the Role of a Divorce Coach?

A Divorce Coach is a licensed, mental health professional who has specialized training in Collaborative Divorce and Mediation. The Divorce Coach is a co-equal member of the clients’ Collaborative Divorce Team. In a full Collaborative Team, each spouse has a Divorce Coach. In some cases, clients choose to share one Divorce Coach to assist each of them through the collaborative divorce process or mediation.

The Divorce Coach helps clients translate … Read More “What is a Divorce Coach and Why Do I Need One?”

How Does a Legal Separation Differ from a Dissolution of Marriage?

If you are unhappy in your marriage what can you do about it? You could seek a divorce, a legal separation, or a nullity. The process of filing a case with the court is almost identical, but the procedure and the ramifications of filing a legal separation or a nullity instead of a divorce are different.

In California since 1970, we have a “no-fault” system in which there are only two grounds for divorce—“irreconcilable differences” and “incurable insanity.” Irreconcilable differences can encompass a wide variety of reasons, but often means that the spouse applying for the divorce is in a new or better relationship, is being harassed or abused by the other spouse, or wants a different life in another state or country but their spouse does not want to move away. Any of these reasons can create a breakdown of the marital relationship, with required testimony to the court by the petitioning spouse, that the couple can no longer live together.

Why file for a legal separation instead of a divorce? The court forms and the court process of filing for either a divorce or a legal separation are almost identical. In every legal separation or divorce process there … Read More “How Does a Legal Separation Differ from a Dissolution of Marriage?”

Creative Divorce Solutions: Thinking Outside The Box

Creative Thinking

By Jennifer Webb Gordon, CFLS

“Why divorcing couples should consider creative solutions in their divorce”


If you are contemplating divorce you probably want to know “what you are legally  entitled to.”  This is the most common question asked by new clients, who often tell me “I just want what I’m entitled to.”

It is natural to want information to help with divorce planning and to set expectations.

Since divorce is a legal process, people turn to “legal entitlements” as a measuring stick.

What most couples contemplating divorce don’t realize is the restrictive range of outcomes available through the court system. Judges are limited by the laws that exist at the time you arrive in court.  Laws change, and what is true today may not apply next year or next month. One recent example is the tax deductibility of spousal support (alimony) payments.  Up until January 2019, spousal support payments were tax deductible to the party paying and taxable to the recipient.  Today, the payment of spousal support is no longer deductible on federal returns.  Similarly, the spouse who receives spousal support is no longer required to claim the amount as income on their federal tax return.  This is just … Read More “Creative Divorce Solutions: Thinking Outside The Box”