Family law attorney Diane DePould has written a book on collaborative divorce
Outline of “Collaborative Divorce”
by family law attorney Diane DePould
Introduction to Collaborative Divorce
“The key to a successful marriage is to not be in a sexual relationship with your spouse” –Gore Vidal
Even a nice friendly collaborative divorce is the second most emotionally devastating experience you will experience in your lifetime. The emotional impact of your divorce will be greater than the emotional impact of your marriage or the death of a loved one! Human beings learn faster and on a deeper level when the lessons are emotional. Human beings can hang on to the emotional pain of their childhood for a lifetime. Many people go to their graves without forgiving their parents. Therefore the emotional barrenness of divorce is the ultimate teachable moment for an adult. Divorce forces a financial, emotional, spiritual accounting of your life. Look at your life in the clear objective light of this accounting. You must take responsibility for the decisions you made and stop blaming your spouse for anything. If you blame your spouse you give away your power because blaming declares the other person has the power in your life. Accept the fact that you chose your spouse, you agreed to marry your spouse, and you signed the marriage license. Now step inside your divorce with the same love that you felt when you dated, courted, and married your spouse.
It is significant that the Holmes-Rahe index is called “The Social Readjustment Scale.” This book proposes that you can use the emotional intelligence of your collaborative divorce as your emotional readjustment scale.
This table is taken from “The Social Readjustment Rating Scale”, Thomas H. Holmes and Richard H. Rahe, Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Volume 11, Issue 2, August 1967, Pages 213-218, Copyright © 1967 Published by Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce granted by the publisher.
This scale must not be used in any way to cause harm to an individual’s professional career.
|Life Event||Value||Check if this applies|
|1||Death of spouse||100|
|5||Death of close family member||63|
|6||Personal injury or illness||53|
|8||Fired at work||47|
Collaborative Divorce is designed to foster your awareness and ability to use this emotional stress component of divorce to your advantage. By taking responsibility for your emotions and your divorce, you are able to calmly see and understand the divorce process. The divorce process involves more interaction with your spouse than it does with the divorce court. The divorce courts acts as a referee between you and your spouse. Divorce court does not give directions and orders on its own. The divorcing parties attorneys file papers and the court decides whose position will prevail.
Who We Are
Diane DePould spent 13 years as a construction defect litigation attorney for the Department of the Navy in Washington, DC. After working hard for corporations Diane decided to use her human relationship skills to start working hard for everyday people.
Diane moved to Los Angeles and added family law and collaborative divorce specialist to her practice. She wants to serve collaborative divorce clients by teaching them that a divorcing person needs a mini-education in emotions juxtaposed with a basic understanding of divorce court. The divorce court is not the place to have your divorce decided. The new emotionally intelligent you is responsible for working out a divorce relationship the same way you worked out your marriage relationship.
What You Will Learn
Your collaborative divorce has an emotional component and a legal/financial component. When you learn to separate the two, you can objectively approach ending the business aspect of your marriage. You will learn to understand your own emotional and psychological characteristics that made you choose your spouse, defined your relationship with our spouse, and what part your emotions played in deciding to divorce that spouse. Learn to use your divorce to understand your life and create the love you want.
According to Napoleon Hill one of the primary fears of all humans is the fear of losing a love relationship and never finding one again. You however, are going to learn how to use your emotions to use your divorce as a lesson in finding the real love you deserve.
Let’s Get Started!
All collaborative divorce law is state law. Therefore there are fifty different sets of divorce laws in America. No one single text can efficiently discuss all fifty different sets of divorce laws. Therefore this text will use the divorce laws for the state of California to illustrate what a divorce really is. In California the legal name for what we commonly call divorce is “dissolution of marriage”. You have heard term dissolution of a corporation? When a corporation breaks up, or merges, or changes and evolves in some way, there is not a huge emotional component. The dissolution of a corporation is conducted without emotions getting in the way. That dissolution is conducted by successful executives who became captains of industry because they do not let their emotions get in the way and sabotage the success of the business at hand.
There is no inherent or intrinsic emotional component to the dissolution of a corporation. The dissolution of a corporation is all financial business. The dissolution of marriage is also all about financial business. It does not matter to the courts how you feel emotionally about your dissolution, it is up to you to control your emotions. You owe emotional self-control to yourself, your children, and that human being now called your ex-spouse you once loved.
What is Collaborative Divorce All About?
Causes of Divorce
Statistics on Divorce
Divorce is Much More Slower, Stressful, and Expensive than You Have Imagined
Divorce is Temporary Insanity
Two can live cheaper as one. And vice versa
Emotions Rule the Roost
Loss of Control
Document the File, Document Your Life
How to Prove Things You Take for Granted
Stress and Harm to the Loved Ones around You
Safety First: If there is domestic violence run don’t walk away
What Are You Divorcing?
Wheel of Divorce – What Are Your Specifics
What is Wrong with Your Marriage?
What is the Matter?
1. Her Side
2. His Side
3. The Truth
Were You Ever Really Married? (Were You Truly Bonded?)
What Are You Giving Up?
List in Detail and Examine
CONSIDER THE PROBLEMS
What Problems Does Divorce Bring Into Your Life?
What are they?
Evaluate what they will do to your life
Compare to your current situation
Compare if you make improvements to your marriage
Comment: There are many important marriage improvement actions that can be more beneficial than an outright divorce action
The Story of Barry Goldstein – The attorney who hired a building contractor to split the marital home in Santa Monica, CA to share with his ex-wife. It was the bottom of the real estate market, and the only way they could afford to divorce was to literally split the house down the middle. Mr. Goldstein told me they somehow still share the kitchen I have never actually been there.
Divorce is child abuse
Are you using divorce as another attempt for a quick fix?
Alternatives to Divorce
Acceptance of your reality you created
However most importantly, focusing on your own problems, the ones you always had that got you into this situation
To whom do you have responsibilities?
Who will you hurt by this?
Are your children better off with divorce or intact family?
What commitments have you made to others?
Extended family, friends
Who is dependent on you?
Can you keep your commitments to them?
Loving What Is
What qualities in yourself are you divorcing?
(What are the patterns in your life?)
(What patterns in your life are manifested in the marriage?)
What patterns in your life are manifested in undesirable ways in the marriage?
What are you responsible for? How are you responsible for it all? (Because you are!)
Of the reasons for divorce what other factors may be underneath them?
(What is the root cause of your problems? Find the root cause of your problems and you will find the reason for your marriage and your desire for a divorce)
(Is your divorce fantasy the same mechanism as your marriage fantasy was?)
(What Is Your Fantasy that your divorce is going to bring you?)
Have you convinced yourself that your divorce is necessary for career freedom? Really, is this an excuse or have you actually checked it out?
(Real Career Advice: Married & partnered people are viewed as more being more successful at life than single people)
Key is: are these qualities and circumstances something you take with you in a divorce. (In other words is your divorce a “geographic”, a grass is greener pipe dream? If you get a divorce will you still be the same person with the same problems?)
If you are the one who is being left
Handling the shock
Saving the Marriage
Accepting the Split
“Catching up” with the reality of the initiating spouse.
Advanced Collaborative Divorce Skills
Emotions Rule the Roost
Divorce Planning & Preparation
Child Custody & Support
Understanding the Legal System
The Divorce Process
Collaborative Divorce Decision Making Tools
Wheel of Divorce
Make a wheel for the specific problems with your marriage drill down.
Collaborative Divorce Decision Tree
Pros and Cons
Worst Case Best Case
Head and Heart make their arguments
Collaborative Divorce Exercise: Hot Air Balloon Visualization
Look down at family from higher perspective with divorce.
Look down at family from higher perspective without divorce.
Look down at family from higher perspective
Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
Don’t forget the QDRO. Have a certified paralegal or registered legal document assistant prepare the court forms and pleadings for your qualified domestic relations order. Most divorce attorneys refer QDRO’s to divorce paralegals.