Family lawyers cause families more pain and cost them more money than any other cog in the traditional divorce process. Most do not do it on purpose (although some do), but that they do it is undeniable.
I’ve practiced law for 35 years. I’ve made a spectacular living as the consummate trial attorney, and I love telling the stories of my successes. Yet, after repeatedly bearing witness to the ineptitude and destructiveness of our family courts, I began to seek the best way to get divorced for couples when their divorce is inevitable.
I finally stumbled upon collaborative practice. In CP, we negotiate in an atmosphere of honesty, cooperation, and integrity focused solely on the future well-being of the restructured family. No court, until after the couple reaches an agreement.
The spouses retain professionals trained in collaborative practice and interest-based negotiation. (It’s easy to find these professionals; they congregate in practice groups, like the one to which I belong in Tampa.) Once the team is assembled, a neutral facilitator assists communication, guides the meetings, and alerts the team to emotional pitfalls that may prevent the spouses from negotiating effectively. The neutral financial professional helps compile financial information and offers possibilities to settle monetary matters. The collaborative attorneys mentor their clients in problem solving techniques, and must withdraw if the process fails and either spouse resorts to adversarial court proceedings. This ensures that the entire team is committed to creating settlement.
Again and again, I behold the magic generated by the collaborative process. A husband shares a secret, that he has concealed for years, in the safety of the collaborative team… and his wife is able to understand his reasons for hiding it. A wife apologizes for causing pain she’d never before realized she’d inflicted … and her husband is helped to forgive her. Spouses understand how to better communicate. They solve problems that they’ve never been able to resolve before. Divorced collaboratively, couples repair and restructure their relationships through the communication, problem-solving, and co-parenting skills that they learn in the process.
So I wrote War or Peace: Avoid the Destruction of Divorce Court. As the title suggests, in it, I recount the stories of what really happened… both in divorce court but also in the collaborative conference room. I tell the stories of the secrets revealed and the transgressions forgiven, of the promises broken and the apologies made, but also of the new dreams shared and the new relationships that evolve. In it, I educate the consumer on his and her divorce process options, and what can happen depending on that choice.
It’s revolution! We are changing the way the world gets divorced®!
Over 50% of all marriages end in divorce. If your divorce is inevitable, and you want to restructure your family instead of destroy it, please read it; it will explain the divorce choices you have so that can choose the best way to get divorced for you, for your children, and for your family. If I can make a difference for you and your family, then I have achieved my goal. I would be honored if you passed the book on to others, or if you endorsed it on Amazon. And if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
About this week’s author: Joryn Jenkins.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law while also serving as a full-time professor in law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership to The American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.