How Mental Health Professionals Assist in the Collaborative Divorce Process

wooden therapy dolls hugging

As an experienced business professional, you’ll notice similarities between collaborative divorce and major company transactions like sales, mergers, and acquisitions. You and your counsel meet with the other side (in this case, your spouse) and their counsel, surrounded by professionals whose knowledge and expertise can guide you toward a successful conclusion.

Collaborative divorce lets you and your spouse discuss and agree on child custody, child and spousal support, property and liability division. Neutral financial professionals make sure that you understand the financial and tax implications of your options while your attorneys ensure that your rights are protected and the final agreement is legally compliant. There is one professional, however, that you don’t typically deal with in business transactions: mental health experts.

How Do Mental Health Professionals Help?

While collaborative divorce and a complex business transaction have many surface similarities, the former has powerful emotional undertones. You are negotiating the end of a relationship that once had a promising future. Instead of selling shares or trading stock, you are deciding who gets the marital home, which parent the children will spend the most time with, and how you’re going to divide everything that you and your spouse accumulated together.

A supportive but neutral mental health professional is there to keep negotiations on track when emotions like bitterness, anger, or grief threaten a positive result. While they don’t serve as therapists in a collaborative divorce setting, they do help you and your spouse understand your feelings and maintain a cooperative attitude during discussions.

The mental health professionals on your collaborative divorce team will also:

  • Work to keep communications respectful. Not all relationships end on amicable terms and, despite your best intentions, emotional volatility can take control when bad memories are recalled. If things become adversarial, a mental health professional will step in and show both sides how to speak and listen.
  • Use their understanding of child psychology to help you and your spouse agree on a custody and visitation schedule that is in the best interests of the children. Some professionals will serve as child specialists, meaning that they provide your kids with a sympathetic ear and make it easier for you and your spouse to understand how the divorce is affecting them. 
  • Help each attorney understand the psychological and emotional impact of the divorce on their client. When your attorney has the appropriate insights into your relationship dynamic, they can handle any behaviors that could frustrate the collaborative process.

Mental health professionals keep divorce stress from affecting your decision-making and expectations of the outcome. The goal is for your divorce settlement agreement to be the result of a constructive negotiation process. You’ll be less likely to regret it, and your children will benefit from their parents’ ability to work together.

Contact a Tennessee Collaborative Divorce Attorney

At Piper McCracken PLLC, we use a combination of attentive service, a flexible approach, and utmost discretion to help business and high net-worth clients end their marriages through collaborative divorce. We believe that whenever possible, you should be the one to make important decisions about your family and your future. To schedule a confidential consultation with one of our divorce attorneys, contact us today.

The following two tabs change content below.

Piper McCracken, PLLC

Our firm began as a belief that things could be done better—in both the practice of law and in the working lives of lawyers. Founding partners, Heather Piper and Joanna McCracken, met while working as attorneys at a large, regional firm. They honed their skills as litigators on a broad range of cases from medical malpractice and product liability, to real estate and entertainment law. But it was their mutual desire to help people on a more personal level that inspired them to begin a family law practice.

Latest posts by Piper McCracken, PLLC (see all)

%d bloggers like this: