Navigating Divorce with Dignity…. What are the Odds?


“Daily I walk around my small, picturesque town with a thought bubble over my head: “Person Going through a Divorce….”  When I look at other people, I automatically form thought bubbles over their heads.  For Example:   “Happy Couple with Stroller;” “Innocent Teenage Girl with her Whole Life Ahead of her;”   “Content Grandmother and Grandfather Visiting Grandchildren’s Town Living  with Intact Parent;” ”Secure Housewife with Big Diamond;” “Undamaged Group of Young Men on Skateboards;”

“Good Man with Baby in Baby Knapsack who Loves his Wife;” “Dogs who Never Have to Worry:” “Young Kids Kissing Publicly.” Then…. every so often, I see one like me, one of the shambling gaunt women without makeup, looking older than she is: Divorcing Woman Wondering How the F___ this Happened…  Author: Suzanne Finnamore, Split: A Memoir of Divorce

Such an ominous message reveals the true state of affairs with many people traversing the very rough terrain of divorce- American style.  We seemingly walk around in a bubble like Suzanne, wondering where it all went wrong…

Whether it’s the slings and arrows inherent in the relationship itself; conflicts with the children, a cheating spouse or the cutthroat nature of divorce courts, the AFTERMATH of a damaged relationship leading to divorce is anything but pretty!

Enter an option that you may not be aware of…. ‘An option that can minimize “the shatter.” ‘A process that is truly about teamwork and non-adversarial.

Ladyjustice and Delilah had the pleasure to interview two skilled professionals: one a psychologist, the other a highly trained attorney committed to the concept and the real life process of Collaborative Divorce.    There are many professionals and resources who can guide you: Elaine Ducharme, Ph.D.; of CCDG/Connecticut Collaborative Divorce Group:; and Attorney Robert Fried of Divorce Solutions of Connecticut: Learn the facts with us….

             Listen to the Podcast

  • Introduction with Ladyjustice and Delilah;
  • Getting to know our guests:
  • The start of Collaborative Divorce …. How did it evolve?
  • Picking up the pieces in the aftermath….;
  • The Goal of Collaborative Divorce…;
  • “Giving up being an attorney” without collaborative divorce…
  • Delilah asks about the “layers involved with custody issues”- court advocates             guardians at litem, advocates etc…. Does collaborative divorce help?
  • Statistics for divorce- Without intervention – First Marriage 50%; Second Marriage 70%;Third Marriage 90%;
  • How does the process of collaborative divorce work regarding the team – the players identified and their roles?
  • No secrets…
  • Bob on the “horror shows” Hollywood examples… and a “No court pledge”;
  • What percentage of divorce cases is settled?
  • Resolving underlying issues….being part of the solution…;
  • Every state differs…. Connecticut law dictates that divorce can take place no earlier than three months and at least one year must elapse as a CT resident before one can become divorced;
  • Elaine on dealing with the other complicated  issues;
  • Ladyjustice asks a” loaded question “on shared custody….
  • The key- to determine the interest of the children and parent’s positions versus “posturing;”
  • Letting the judge decide?
  • The realization of problem solving versus ” being friends or loving toward each other;”
  • A discussion of “in the child’s best interest,” a sliding scale according to Bob…
  • Elaine talks about the referral process and her role as a coach;
  • Elaine talks about families who have abusive and/or addicted partners…
  • Delilah asks about people with Cluster B Personality Disorders….
  • Sandra L. Brown, M. A.
  • Elaine states that professionals re-vamping  the new DSM V could not agree on the inclusion of changes re various personality disorders…..“They need to be worked on;”
  • Delilah clarifies that we are talking about anti-social personality disorders….
  • Bob on the benefits of collaborative re forming new relationships with others in family law … working as a team;
  • Taking extra care… or maybe it can’t be collaborative…;
  • Chronological order and what Elaine’s group does individually and separately;
  • Bob’s preferred approach starting with the coach versus the attorney’s approach;
  • Division of labor to keep the costs down…. Working with the team versus sitting in court with the “time outs;”
  • What’s reasonable and rational versus arguing as the clock is ticking;
  • “Wanting your pound  of flesh”- alternative dispute resolution-mediation or collaborative is far superior to court;
  • Bob discusses options in other states…;
  • Elaine discusses the need for court in domestic violence cases with abusers…
  • Requirement of parenting classes  in Connecticut and elsewhere to learn about co-parenting;
  • Keeping it out of court as much as possible…” Why would you want a stranger making choices for your children?”
  • Bob discusses  “no fault divorce” before and after 1973; “A friendly divorce;”
  • “Fault “ is one of 13 statutory factors that a court considers;
  • Ladyjustice asks about changes in the family court system?
  • Example: “The kids and the family are being destroyed… The court allows it…”
  • The toll when spouses “just want to win and hurt the other person…”
  • Where to go for Collaborative Divorce- The International Association of  Collaborate Professionals:;
  • Elaine encourages us to ask the attorneys about their training…. Saying “I’m willing to be collaborative” is different than the extensive training required for collaborative divorce;


Questions and Answers to be Revealed…

  • What is the professional organization for persons practicing collaborative divorce?
  • How are divorce options being marketed – old ideas and new options?
  • What was Bob’s “war story” that was a turning point for him?
  • Assessing the damage… How do couples learn to communicate?
  • How does emotions and co-parenting figure into this process?
  • How do coaches’ assistance with parenting plans work?
  • How do legal procedures differ in a traditional divorce versus collaborative divorce regarding wanting the other spouse out of the house?
  • How long does this process take? Certain rules apply…
  • How is collaborative divorce advantageous when you are challenging a couple to communicate at their lowest point?
  • What happens to the family dynamic when parents realize that the children are manipulating each other?
  • What is the difference between an “attorney for the minor child” versus “a guardian at litem”?
  • What elements are the foundations of collaborative divorce and what are the “ground rules” when they introduce the option?
  • What is the order of the process?
  • How cost effective is collaborative divorce?
  • According to Bob, what is another advantage of the collaborate option regarding the outcome?
  • What are other states doing around the country regarding divorce?
  • Is coaching more effective versus mandatory one time parenting class?
  • What does “no-fault divorce” mean?
  • Does “fault” impact upon child support?
  • What is the AFTERMATH when one party doesn’t want to cooperate?

The comments expressed on this website or on the broadcasts of Shattered Lives do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the hosts, producers, or other guests.”


  1. Repeating this blog – podcast during the holidays in 2017! Tanks for your feedback “reflective disc”…” Much appreciated! LJ

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