Understanding the Unique Role Collaborative Divorce Plays in Mental Health 

Mental health is health; it affects everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, politics, geography, or income.  May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and collaborative divorce is a prime tool that supports mental health and emotional wellness.  Divorce can increase symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.  Yet collaborative law paves the way for improved mental health because it is a process that embraces cooperative, flexible, and respectful resolution of divorce and child timesharing (custody) issues.

The heart of collaborative divorce is to provide support, advocacy, and guidance without expensive, lengthy, and contentious court battles.  The family law firm of Sara Horowitz PA works with clients to develop their individual goals and a detailed plan to accomplish those goals.  Through every stage of the collaborative process, we counsel clients with intelligence and integrity, designing solutions to family law issues with an emphasis on wellbeing.  

The collaborative process promotes an atmosphere where the parties are encouraged to communicate with each other in a more positive and respectful manner, all in an effort to create a comprehensive agreement that can be presented before the court system without any disagreements.  That way, the dissolution of marriage can proceed smoothly and expeditiously.

In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Month, my law firm’s goal is to create more positive spaces in which clients can thrive and grow.   Collaborative divorce encourages tailor-made, personalized solutions based on each family’s unique circumstances.  Settling matters amicably versus in an adversarial way shows marked improvement in mental health. 

Divorce can be a physically and emotionally draining experience, especially in litigated divorces where research suggests divorcees reported significantly higher levels of both depressive and anxiety symptoms than the background population.  This is why our law firm treats every case as an opportunity to help you achieve your unique vision of success for your family.  

Six key advantages to resolving a family case collaboratively in which improved mental health is a significant byproduct:

  • The collaborative divorce process is designed to empower you and your spouse to define, discuss, and problem-solve to reach a dissolution agreement in a productive manner.  In the collaborative process, you and your spouse craft an agreement.  People who decide their own fate are much happier and more satisfied with the outcome than those people where someone else decided their fate.  Since the collaborative process empowers spouses, it can often lead to improved long-term coparenting between spouses, as well as help make it easier for spouses to move on in their own lives.  The collaborative process, therefore, is often much better for children’s wellbeing, as well as the spouses. 
  • Money is one of the biggest points of contention between couples.  The collaborative process is more affordable than litigation. You do not have the costs of interrogatories, requests to produce evidence, requests for admissions, depositions, hearings, and a trial. 
  • The collaborative process is private and confidential.  All the details of your divorce are not in the court file.  In litigated cases, information is in the court file which is public record and public disputes can sink reputations and take a psychological toll.
  • With input from financial, legal, and mental health professionals, both spouses in the collaborative divorce process remain fully present as informed participants in crafting an agreement on child timesharing (“parenting plan”) and support, property, asset and debt division, and any other areas that need to be settled before the divorce decree can be issued.
  • A neutral mental health professional can be present in the collaborative process to keep negotiations on track when emotions like anger or grief threaten a productive result.  While mental health professionals don’t serve as therapists in a collaborative divorce setting, they do help spouses maintain a cooperative attitude during discussions.
  • The collaborative process is quicker than litigation. In the collaborative process, the spouses create the timetable, whereas in litigation, the court, which is often backlogged, controls the timetable.

At Sara Horowitz PA, we use the utmost care, compassion, and discretion to help clients end their marriages peacefully.  We believe that whenever possible, you should be empowered to make important decisions about your family’s needs and your future.  Envision, create, develop, and execute an agreement in order to embrace a new, mentally healthier future for both you and your children. 

Gain a firm understanding of how the collaborative process could help you.  Our family law firm office is located in Coral Springs, Florida, and we proudly serve clients in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, Florida.  Contact us to schedule a confidential telephone, virtual, or in-person consultation.