Collaborative divorces are not magic carpets that carry couples painlessly through their family transitions. They can actually be harder to endure than traditional divorces or mediation because they challenge each person to operate from a much more mature level of functioning. As a result of going through this challenging process, the benefits can be immense and long lasting as parents and children benefit from better communication and hopefully far less acrimony, conflict and hostility. Members of the divorcing couple often begin implementing the tools the coaches have taught them and modeled for them, by talking through their difficulties, solving problems, making joint decisions and compromising instead of acting out in some way.
Couples can actually learn healthier ways to communicate with one another, co-parent and get through difficult situations. Peggy Thomson, PhD and attorney Pauline Tesler, co-authors of Collaborative Divorce, note that “about one in ten of our couples decide to get back together because they’ve learned some basic problem-solving and communication skills.” Whether you reconcile or not, these tools, once learned, are beneficial going forward, far beyond when the children turn 18.