In my role as a family law attorney, it is my utmost intention to provide my clients with both a clear explanation of the law and experienced guidance so they can make well-informed decisions.
But I also realize that divorce is much more than just about the legal issues. It’s personal.
It’s about you. It’s about your family.
It’s about wanting to find peace and move on.
As an lawyer practicing since 1996, dealing primarily with family law cases (and through my own personal experience of divorce) I have developed an intimate understanding of the legal issues and emotional dynamics people experience through the process of separation.
I have seen the debilitating effects the old paradigm of divorce has waged on individuals, families, and communities. It has been my mission to transcend this outdated model and to help raise awareness on every level possible, so my clients can make well-informed decisions from a place of empowered reflection, not out of fear, or simply because it’s what their lawyer tells them to do.
In my approach, I utilize a structured, three-phase process designed to bring awareness to the legal issues present in each case, while also being mindful of the personal issues that arise during a divorce.
The details of this process vary based upon the specific needs of the client and their situation, but it is available for couples and individuals desiring to keep their cases out of court, as well as for the individual faced with the necessity to involve the court for assistance in holding their spouse accountable for their responsibilities to their family.
Below I have outlined a brief summary of the three phases of Conscious Divorce which I utilize with my clients:
1. The Assessment Phase of Conscious Divorce
We begin with the assessment phase where we identify and assess unresolved issues, both in the legal realm and in the personal realm. We start by covering their legal rights and obligations, detailing different options, and discussing potential consequences.
It’s no surprise that going through a divorce can trigger many painful, unresolved issues often manifesting as blame, anger, hurt, fear, and helplessness. Many of these wounds lay buried deep within as underlying root-issues. To ignore these internal issues will only perpetuate the stress and conflict. And who wants that?
Yes, divorce can be painful, but if navigated consciously, it can also be a dynamic catalyst for personal growth.
I encourage each client to take a closer look at themselves, their spouse, their relationship, and their divorce, while recommending supportive processes to assist them along the way.
After a thorough assessment of the client’s legal situation, we prepare and file their initial pleadings, which opens the client’s case with the court. This leads us to the next phase, disclosure:
2. The Disclosure Phase of Conscious Divorce
By it’s own definition, “to disclose” is to make known, to reveal or uncover. Here, it’s about bringing issues out into the open and communicating interests clearly and effectively. In legal terms, this is where we gather, review, organize, and prepare all of the information and disclosure forms required by the court for the divorce.
We also focus on effective communication between the parties with the intention of establishing primary goals and interests. Divorce conversations can be challenging, with Conscious Divorce they don’t have to be ugly.
As an alternative to high conflict confrontations, I encourage my clients to incorporate carefrontation strategies when offering and receiving feedback with their spouse. We work together to develop and communicate priorities and interests that are fair, while also maintaining accountability from the other party.
Effective communication with your ex is a key part of this process, but so is being mindful of your own internal dialog.
Throughout this phase, we strategize with the client in clarifying their intentions, both legal and personal, and develop effective action steps designed to realize the ideal resolution to their case, and for their life after the divorce is finalized.
3. The Resolution Phase of Conscious Divorce
In the third and final “resolution” phase, I work with my clients to find lasting solutions and bring closure to their cases. Together, we participate in the final negotiation of judgment terms, either through mediation, or other settlement means.
Out-of-court settlement is always first priority, although in certain situations, trial may be necessary when all other means of negotiation have been attempted. Upon coming to an agreement, all legal paperwork necessary to finalize their case is drafted and filed with the court.
While navigating through these legal waters, personal challenges inevitably surface along the way, manifesting within the emotional, mental, spiritual, and even physical realms. To best support my clients, I facilitate them in identifying where they feel stuck and discuss attainable actions steps to move them forward, while letting go of limiting beliefs of what’s possible along the way.
You can’t change what’s going on around you until you start changing what’s going on within you.
On the deepest level, my goal is to not only bring completion to the legal matters in a divorce, but to also help the client find a place of inner peace and confidence in moving forward with their life. This involves teaching the client a specific process in how to work with internal challenges to effectively deal with stress and upset, and move from a disempowered victim-centered state of mind, to an empowered, self-aware individual transcending old ideas of what’s possible.
In conclusion, this is a very brief overview of conscious divorce – what I feel is a truly integrative, holistic approach designed to support clients in resolving issues pertinent to divorce and separation on all levels. I’m always happy to discuss my approach with anyone interested in the process.
Whether it is with someone going through a separation themselves, or with other attorneys, mediators, and coaches who are interested in developing and incorporating a conscious and compassionate approach in their practice. Together we can shift the process toward a new paradigm of peaceful resolution and personal transformation – Conscious Divorce.