Peaceful Transitions

The Christian Approach to Rebuilding Family Relationships

Conscious Uncoupling—A process for everyone!

Any couple, any family, anyone can participate in “Conscious Uncoupling”, all you need is the willingness, the guidance, and the right support system!

What is “conscious uncoupling?”

It is a peaceful process to achieve separation.  The couple decides to separate, but then make a conscious decision to transition into separate households in the most respectful and thoughtful way.  This is a couple that understands there are several possibilities for achieving separation, and they choose the high road.  The process is focused on supporting each other through the difficulties, focused on achieving the best possible future for everyone in the family.  The approach is nurturing, the process moves at the pace set by the couple, and the family processes the change with all the emotional support needed to prosper in the future.

How does it work?

Immediately following the decision to separate, the couple chooses a Divorce Coach or Divorce Therapist/Counselor to assist them in defining the transition plan.  The Coach is expert in the divorce process, and the potential impact to the family.  The Coach works with the couple to determine the transition plan customized for their family, considering all aspects of their family including emotional needs, financial situation and the legal issues.  Working together, the coach and the couple define their desired future, establish a plan with goals and objectives to get there.  Each meeting is focused on meeting objectives and moving closer to their desired future.  The process moves as quickly or as slowly as each individual evolves, bringing in other experts as the need arises.  The process belongs to the couple, they consider all outcomes, adjusting the plan as they move towards the separation.

What are the benefits?

Each individual in the family transitions at their own pace and is motivated and encouraged to rely on their strengths.  The couple takes responsibility for creating their future and sets the pace to get there.  Through the process, the couple renegotiates their relationship because they are no longer defined by spouse. Each person works through their emotional issues, learning, healing and growing through the process.  Does the relationship move forward as co-parents, and if so, how are the roles defined?  When there are children in the family, the benefit is priceless.  Parents learn to cooperate and focus on the children.  Responsibilities are clearly stated, presenting the children with two parents, involved in their lives and co-parenting effectively.  Everyone emerges with honor, integrity, respect, and kindness. Parents are empowered to be the parents their children deserve and desire.

Where do we begin?

Start by finding the right Divorce Coach or Therapist.  Meet with them, understand the way they work, and determine you feel good about utilizing their assistance in this important process.  Working in partnership is of the utmost importance.  Choose someone that is knowledgeable and is driven to provide the guidance and support necessary to achieve the best possible future for you and your family.

10 Steps to a Peaceful Divorce

  1. Rely on the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity to guide you.
  2. Minimize emotional impact by utilizing faith based professionals.
  3. Encourage accepting responsibility for healing and forgiveness.
  4. Renegotiate relationship from spouse to co-parent.
  5. Promote parenting to benefit the children.
  6. Nurture family relationships.
  7. Diffuse conflict.
  8. Implement your future one step at a time.
  9. Build your destiny.
  10. Utilize a team supporting all aspects of your life; legal, emotional, financial and spirtual.

Parenting Coordination: An advocate for divorcing parents

Divorce is difficult for the adults, but it is especially difficult for the children.  Co-Parenting is hard for a couple when they are together, co-parenting is almost impossible after divorce, unless the parents seek out assistance.  There are so many changes when a family separates, and often times there is conflict and anger permeating the family.  Parents need to learn to put aside their adult feelings and provide their children with safety, security and unconditional love.

We have the benefit of studies providing information which should guide parents to be responsive to their children’s needs.  Many adults today come from divorced families and they provide feedback which help divorcing parents structure their families after separation.

Stop fighting!  The most common complaint from children is their parents would not stop fighting. It is the conflict, not the divorce, that has the most negative impact on the children.  Conflict causes kids to grow up too early, completely missing out on childhood.  Kids from high conflict families may be impacted for life, more than half of them never getting married or having children.  All parents want the best for their children, all parents should consider their actions and the impact they may have on their children.  When you infuse your life with conflict, you are providing your children with an example they will certainly follow.

Relationship with Mom and Dad  Children want to have a relationship with both their parents, and they do not want one parent to stand in the way of them having a relationship with the other.  Children believe they are 50% each parent’s DNA, so if a parent speaks badly about the other parent, the child interprets it as speaking badly about them.  Children do not understand when a parent walks out of their life.  They interpret it as rejection and take it personally.  If they are estranged from a parent, they believe it is their fault.  If they are not encouraged to have a relationship with both parents, they will spend much of their time wonder why, filling their own head with thoughts of rejection instead of childhood things.

Children want to be children! They do not want to have to make adult choices—like who do you want to live with?  If you really ask them this question, the answer is both parents! Children do not want to  be responsible for mature actions before they are ready.  They cannot remember where they left their homework, especially if it could be at their other house.  Kids should be able to learn and grow as they are programed to learn and grow.  Parents, together or divorced, should be parents, looking after their child’s books and homework, deciding when they transition to the other parent’s home, and making the transition as smooth and easy as possible.

Support your children through the divorce—do not coddle them—do not have expectations they cannot fulfill!  This is a difficult balancing act, made easier by consulting a Parenting Coordinator.

Divorce Mediation: The first stop on the road to splitting

Most of us divorce once, which is both good and not so good.  After going through the process, it is easy to realize there was a better way, but then it is too late.  Don’t wait until the end of the road to realize you chose the wrong route.  Make a conscience decision to start down the path of peace, Mediation.

Always consider mediation.  You will be surprised after your first session that there are probably areas of agreement.  Starting with areas of agreement will open the lines of communication, change the focus to the future, and allow the couple to work together to design a plan moving forward.

Yes, it is most likely that communication has broken down.  As a trained intermediary, the Mediator will provide the process to determine your future.  Mediators are trained to facilitate, they provide the setting and the rules to stay focused to discuss options.  The Mediator provides a framework for effective communication and an approach to decision making which removes the emotion and provides the guidelines to generate ideas and agree on solutions.  Every decision is expected to be a win/win, good for all.  The parties will discuss options and consider opportunities.  The decisions made by the couple will be the best possible decisions for their future.

Mediation introduces and practices a process for conflict resolution which is a skill each party will take with them to utilize in the future.  The couples completing mediation have a plan for their future and a process to achieve it.  Through mediation, the couple may choose to phase in the implementation of their plan to test it and to tweak it, if necessary.  This is especially helpful when the transition includes selling a home and establishing new residences.

Mediation is your process.  You decide how quickly, or slowly, you move through.  The couple determines the topics to cover each week and all information about their lives remains confidential.

Mediation is a peaceful option and it is also economical.  Instead of hiring two attorneys and paying two retainers and two hourly rates, the mediator is one person with one hourly rate.  The couple can accomplish much of their discussions outside of mediation, which is their time and no cost, coming to mediation with some decisions made and receiving assistance when stuck.

Mediation provides divorcing couples an option to peacefully plan their transition to the future.  Mediation should always be the first stop.

Thinking about Divorce…..be sure to consider ALL the options!

When you come to the conclusion, it’s time to consider divorce, don’t just jump blindly into the process.  Do your homework, understand the possibilities and know you can control the process which is essentially planning your future!

No, the first call should NOT be to an attorney!  An attorney may be necessary, but not as the first step.  Remember, most attorneys are trained litigators, they will represent one of the parties, against the other party.  Before becoming adversaries, give peaceful options a chance. If you have been going to marriage counseling or working with someone at your church, be sure to ask their opinion.  It is important to evaluate the options and choose to use the one best for your situation.

Start with a Therapist specializing in divorce or a Divorce Coach.  This professional will explain all your options, listen to your story and assist you to determine the best option for your family.  The Divorce professional will not only explain the process, but help you to understand the ramifications in the future.  In a sentence, the couple that plans their own divorce, will be planning for a peaceful future.  The process has a major impact on designing your future.

Mediation is the first option everyone should try. A trained facilitator will guide you through decisions, assisting to resolve all disputes or conflicts, focused on designing the best possible future.

Parenting Coordination is a must for divorcing parents.  Parents remain parents however the roles are significantly changing.  Boundaries need to be determined, but most importantly, a process for co-parenting needs to be established, which is best addressed with the assistance of a Parenting Coordinator.

You may find there are several areas of agreement, especially with the children, but there are still a few sticking points.  This is the time to consult a Collaborative Attorney.  These are specially trained attorneys, focused on negotiation and settlement.  A collaborative attorney will represent their client, with settlement in mind, finding a middle ground. The collaborative attorney will bring in experts needed to support the settlement process.  When necessary, a Certified Divorce Financial Planner will be consulted to evaluate the marital estate and to suggest an equitable split of the assets.  They may also bring in a Divorce Coach or a Child Specialist to assist with emotional issues and issues surrounding the children   These attorney’s will not take the case to a trial, they will negotiate until all decisions are made.

97% of all divorce cases are negotiated settlements, only 3% go to trial—yes, this is true!  So, first try the peaceful options, they really work!