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The Role of the Mental Health Professional in Collaborative Divorce

Phyllis Miller Palombi, LMFT, and Jennifer A. Bradley, J.D.

Two divorce attorneys walk into a bar.  They’re given a set of facts relating to the dissolution of a marriage, without being assigned representation to either party, and they reach a mutually agreed upon settlement in less than an hour. 

If only our jobs were that simple.  Instead, a couple’s emotional and psychological vulnerabilities generally control the settlement negotiation process, in conjunction with the attorneys’ egos, making it much less efficient than it otherwise could be. 

Collaborative Solutions

From the office to legal proceedings, the problem solving process can be a major cause of conflict. When emotions are running high and involved parties are hoping for different outcomes, problem solving can quickly turn contentious. Fortunately, by using collaborative problem solving, parties can work together to develop a conflict-free and mutually beneficial solution.