Divorce may be inevitable, but having an adversarial outcome doesn’t have to be…...
BENEFITS OF A COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE:
•Empowers the couple to be in control, not the court system •Targets solutions, not problems •Reduces emotional conflict •Focuses attorney time on the law, not emotional issues •Reduces divorce costs by expediting the process •Provides a solid foundation for co-parenting children •Gives children a voice in the process •Adds closure to the marriage •Synergies the parties and the trained professional
team towards your agreed upon new goals.
A Divorce Coach? Are you curious or skeptical? Let’s look at the divorce coach role in the collaborative law process to discern the benefits for this additional resource as part of a collaborative law divorce team.
In a traditional divorce, a litigating attorney functions as a legal problem solver for the best advantage of one party, not the whole family. Clients commonly face the emotional impact of their separation while trying to work on the legal aspects at the same time. Thus, the emotional side of divorce is not effectively addressed. Instead, the client can become emotionally paralyzed to the point of inaction. Or, the client can get stuck in rage mode and spend hours discussing options for character assassination with their attorney. Typically, the client ends up paying a huge bill and is no better off emotionally. In addition, many divorcing couples wind up in the traditional litigation route because they are reacting to fear, anger and a desire for retribution and are not thinking about what will happen once the divorce battle is over. A divorce coach helps solve these problems by refocusing emotion-based thinking and helping the couple determine what is important for themselves and their children, both now and in the future.
A divorce coach is a mental health professional who is specially trained in the collaborative law process. The coach helps clients with decision making and goal setting. In a collaborative divorce, each party works with their own divorce coach to develop a plan of action. A divorce coach can help a person move beyond the high level of emotion which is often a stumbling block to resolving divorce related issues and goals, whether lessening the emotional harm to children or encouraging a spouse to seek financial advice in preparation for being single. The coach provides effective problem solving tools to reduce misunderstandings in communication and helps create solutions to emotionally loaded legal issues.
A divorce coach does not act as therapist. Rather, a divorce coach focuses on the situation at hand and works on problem solving. The divorce coach does not search with you to find reasons why the marriage failed. A divorce coach helps clients take action and develop a plan for dealing with the here and now issues. For instance, a couple who is unable to communicate without arguing can be taught how to diffuse tension by recognizing certain conversational triggers which have lead to arguments in the past. This is especially important in cases where there are children in common as the parties will have to co-parent even after the marriage is dissolved. A divorce coach also empowers parties to take action. A spouse who has been unemployed for a long period of time while raising children can be assisted with formulating a plan for obtaining the skills necessary to obtain an income of their own. A divorce coach will also hold the parties accountable for the goals they have set and will offer suggestions and additional resources for coping with the divorce.
A collaborative divorce is not fear based. Both individuals are treated with love and respect. If the intimate relationship must end, then it is more important to honor the prior loving aspects of that union, including the children, than to focus on fighting, and solve nothing. A divorce coach can be an extremely useful resource in helping to problem solve, build trust, and enhance communications. The coach helps work past the emotional aspects of divorce to create reality based goals and action plans for the future.
About the Divorce Coach:
David H. Ebaugh, MA, MAS, LCPC, CCDC, CEAP, is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in private practice at NEW PERSPECTIVES since 1990. His specialty areas include Divorce Coaching, Domestic Mediation, Couples Counseling, Chemical Dependency Treatment and Employee Assistance Programs. He earned a Masters Degree in psychology from West Georgia College (1975) and a Masters Degree in administrative science from Johns Hopkins University (1983).
Mr. Ebaugh is a seasoned, skilled and sensitive Divorce Coach and Domestic Mediator. He is trained in the Collaborative Law process as well as mediation using the Transformative Framework. Since 1999, Mr. Ebaugh has served as a court appointed mediator for the Circuit Court of Carroll County.
Mr. Ebaugh brings a unique and sensitive perspective to the table as he blends his divorce coaching and couples counseling skills to help people create reality based goals. He helps his clients balance the inevitable tension between advancing their own needs and allowing or assisting the whole family to meet theirs.
When you are ready:
Contact David H. Ebaugh directly at 410/356-3344, Ext. 101 to discuss your questions, set up an appointment, or to go over fees and/or your homework assignment to prepare for our first session.