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.
Perhaps you have already tried counseling. Sadly nothing has worked. One or both of you have decided on divorce.
If you decide to divorce the most important next decision you will make for your family is what process to choose.
Divorce has two tracks and they operate simultaneously. There is the Business Track and the Emotional Track. If the Emotional Track is not handled well it can easily knock the Business Track off course, create enormous damage to your family, including your children, as well as cost you more money and time.
The Business Track generally involves attorneys and financial specialists. The Emotional Track benefits from the expertise of a well trained and experienced Divorce Coach.
In most places, there are four ways to get divorced. Unfortunately, many people only know about two options.
Get an aggressive attorney and fight it out
Try to do it yourself.
These two choices above carry significant risks.
Trying to maneuver your way through a complex legal system without professional guidance can be costly.
Family Law can be confusing and it is easy to make mistakes.
Hiring lawyers to fight it out can become a war. There will be winners and losers in
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.
Marriage is supposed to last forever, but approximately half the marriages in California end in divorce. Just as couples carefully plan their weddings, if divorce occurs, the dissolution process should be carefully researched and selected.
There are many choices to transition a family when a marriage ends. One of the best ways to make an informed decision is with the assistance of the Divorce Options Workshop, a presentation which informs couples about all their divorce choices including mediation, collaborative divorce, court litigation, and self-representation.
Each Divorce Options Workshop features legal, financial, and mental health professionals who describe the different, interconnecting issues of divorce including the division of property, money, and the parenting of children. Then with information acquired from the Divorce Options Workshop, individuals and couples can more intelligently and respectfully plan their divorce through the process which best suits them and their family.
Locally, in Orange County, the Divorce Options Workshop is presented through the Community Education program at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. Information about the locations, dates, and times, of the Divorce Options Workshop is available on this CDSOC website, by contacting any of our members, or the Orange Coast College Community Education program.
Informative seminars help you learn about the different divorce processes
If you are struggling to find answers for your difficult questions about divorce, attend one of the Spring Divorce Options workshops offered by Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County.
The workshops take place at Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, California. The final date for spring 2017 is:
Thursday, April 20, 6 – 9 p.m.
Register online at the Orange Coast College website here (enter “Divorce Options” in the search box), or by phone at 714-432-5880, extension 1 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. only). For additional details, visit our Divorce Options page here. The seminar cost is $55 per person and includes all materials.
Our goal is helping people in a diverse range of situations. Divorce is difficult and stressful even under the best of circumstances. It can be especially hard if you have children or economic difficulties. Divorce affects people from all walks of life, and no two situations are alike.
We know from experience it IS possible despite challenges to preserve the emotional and financial resources of the family while respecting everyone’s needs during a divorce.
Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County members share their remembrances of their colleague Tracy McKenney, former CDSOC Board President who passed away from cancer in September 2016.
“Tracy McKenney was always, smart, positive, with an uncanny ability to summarize and synthesize all thoughts on a collaborative team or in a Collaborative meeting.”
“Cannot think of Tracy without remembering her smile and her laugh. Professional and competent go without saying but her heart and the ability to reach out to touch the people she worked with. That was her gift and I will miss her.”
“Tracy was positive. She had a great laugh and was very helpful to her (and our) clients. I have come across people lately who she helped before and who she encouraged into a non-adversary process. Her children are her everlasting testament.”
“It still feels surreal. With Tracy’s sense of humor and sense of adventure. I still feel like she’s just away on one of those amazing trips. I still see and feel her in my everyday life. I still think she’s messing with me. Like the weekend after she passed, I met a couple named Scott and Tracy. That’s classic Tracy. She will always be with … Read More “CDSOC Members Honor and Remember Tracy McKenney”
Members of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County (CDSOC) are in demand as professional education panelists and seminar leaders throughout Fall 2016 due to their expertise and experience working with a diverse array of Orange County clients in the Collaborative approach to divorce.
Full trials are becoming increasingly rare in family law. With no relief in sight for underfunded, impacted courts in California, trials can take years to set and families can face exorbitant costs and fees. Clients are demanding alternatives to expensive protracted court battles. As a result, good negotiation skills are now absolutely critical for family law practitioners.
“Our member professionals are considered so knowledgeable in their fields, they are called upon not only to properly educate clients, they also train and educate other professionals to ensure the highest levels of ethics and competence,” said Dr. Carol Hughes, CDSOC member who will be among the lecturers at meetings this fall.
August 4, 2016 Contact: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR 619-997-2495 or email@example.com
(Irvine, California) – Tracy McKenney, CDFA, CFP, has been named President of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County for the 2016-2017 term. McKenney is a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst in private practice based in Irvine, California.
Joining McKenney on the 2016-2017 Board of Directors are:
President-Elect: Therese Fey
Vice President: Patrice Courteau
Secretary: Diana L. Martinez
Treasurer: Leslee Newman
Advertising and Marketing Chair: Yaffa Balsam
Membership Chair: Marvin L. Chapman
Training and Education Chair: Suanne Honey
Speakers Bureau Co-Chairs: Carol Hughes and Bruce Fredenburg
Website Chair: Sara E. Milburn
Member at Large: Jann Glasser
“It is important to me to be involved in an organization like Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County. Collaborative Divorce represents a significant advancement in resolving divorce respectfully,” said McKenney. “Going through a divorce is in some ways harder than dealing with the death of a loved one. It worsens when the process is dragged out through contentious, time-consuming and costly litigation in court. In so many cases, couples can avoid the damage of a court battle, even when they aren’t sure they … Read More “Tracy McKenney named President of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County”
(Costa Mesa, California) – Divorce is difficult and stressful even under the best of circumstances. It can be especially hard if you have children. Divorce affects people from all walks of life, and no two situations are alike.
It is possible despite challenges to preserve the emotional and financial resources of the family while respecting everyone’s needs during a divorce. Learn about your alternatives at “Divorce Options.” The first “Divorce Options” workshop in Orange County takes place on Wednesday, July 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, California.
To register for Divorce Options at Orange Coast College: Call (714) 432-5880 Extension 1 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) – OR – Visit the Orange Coast College website here, click on Search, then enter “Divorce Options.”
For additional information, call Divorce Options at (949) 266-0660 or email at collaborativedivorceOC@gmail.com
Divorce Options provides unbiased information about self-representation, mediation, collaborative divorce, and litigated divorce. The workshop deals with the legal, financial, family and personal issues of divorce in an informational and compassionate small group setting.
Members of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County had a wonderful opportunity to train with Vicki Carpel Miller and Ellie Izzo, Collaborative mental health professionals from Scottsdale, Arizona. Miller and Izzo discussed how people going through divorce are often in a “fog” of confusion and paralysis. Our job as competent and compassionate Collaborative professionals is to help each of the spouses to “recover” through what we hope will be a transformative process through Collaborative Practice.
How does this happen? By the use of a cohesive and skilled team of Collaborative professionals—attorneys, mental health, and financial professionals– who can alert you, educate you, and bring you out of the chaos and into the sunlight. This can be done by identifying the different phases of transition and encourage the following stages of recovery:
Recovery Mode: Burned out, over stimulated. Trying to be productive is hard. Transition by focusing on the basics like adequate sleep, water, exercise, the comfort of friends, etc.