The Good Divorce


By Nicolle Kopping-Pavars
Nicolle Kopping-Pavars Barrister & Solicitor

Stacey and Jeff are recently separated and they are poised for a major court battle. Emotionally and financially, neither are seeing eye-to-eye, particularly Jeff who did not want to get separated and is not quite ready to accept that the marriage is over. They are both anxious about the future and Jeff’s friends have been telling him that he must be prepared to fight as he is about to lose everything. One friend went so far as to say “Jeff, we need to live with our mistakes, except that my mistake now owns the house and I’m not allowed within 500 feet of the driveway”.

What Jeff and Stacey haven’t realised, is that there are ways to divorce without becoming enemies. Collaborative Family Law (CFL) has changed the way people are divorcing.

In the collaborative process, feuding positions are no longer important, each party recognises the others’ underlying concerns and interests and they work together to formulate an agreement that supports their changed family structure.

Respect and integrity are at the heart of the process and CFL lawyers are specially trained to approach separation and divorce from a compassionate and co-operative angle.

The CFL lawyers meet together with the separated spouses in four way sessions to define and negotiate all the issues in a respectful and controlled environment.

The process on average takes six months, instead of dragging participants through the courts, which can take years and can drain one financially. It does however demand compromise on the part of both parties, as well as openness and honesty in order to achieve, and reach, what is often a creative settlement outside of the more narrow constraints of the law.

So How Does it Work?

  • Both lawyers and clients sign a participation agreement that outlines their respective responsibilities.
  • Most significant from the lawyers’ perspective is that, if the process does not lead to a resolution, they cannot represent their clients in any future court proceedings.
  • This restriction allows the lawyers to direct their energy towards achieving resolution.
  • Everyone is focused on creating a fair and long-lasting agreement.

The process

  • The process consists of a series of “four-way meetings” in which the participants work together to define the issues and understand each other’s perspective, all in an effort to achieve resolution in a civilized and respectful way.
  • An agenda is set for each meeting in advance, so that everyone is clear on what issues will be discussed during any given meeting.
  • The lawyers’ role is to assist, while at the same time, to ensure that their client understands his or her entitlements and obligations.

Collaborative family law addresses the whole picture that is involved in divorce as it recognizes that divorce is more than a legal procedure or event. It is also a time of intense distress and is challenging for the parties especially for the children. Many financial issues are involved, which are often complex and because the CFL approach addresses the whole picture, it helps parties achieve a more complete, enriching, and long-term resolution emphasising what is important to them and their children.

Collaborative Family Law allows people greater creativity and less shame in the process of reconstituting their families and getting on with their lives.

What about costs?

If you must divorce, what would it be worth to you to have a superior resolution process that is fair and rewarding? Experience shows that collaborative family law cases are substantially less expensive than cases that are taken to court. At the same time, collaborative divorce is almost always more satisfactory and productive for the participants.

Costs will vary depending upon the difficulty of the matter, but one thing is certain: no funds will be spent on waging war. In collaborative family law, parties are assured of getting the assistance they need to succeed, while avoiding costs associated with non-productive fighting. The money spent on the collaborative process is a wise investment for a better future for the parties and for their children.


CFL is inter disciplinary, which means that professional support systems are put in place to assist the family, by working closely with other collaboratively trained professionals such as divorce coaches, mental health professionals, therapists, financial advisers or business valuators.

Divorce is often a challenging and hurtful process however by applying the CFL tools, couples are afforded an opportunity to focus on their real interests which ultimately leaves them with a feeling of tremendous freedom and release.

CFL process provides parties with the assistance they need to succeed, while avoiding the expense of non-productive fighting. The money spent on the collaborative process is a wise investment providing a foundation for a better future.

You can learn more about Nicolle Kopping-Pavars practice by visiting her website at

 Divorced Dating Getting Back Into the Scene

Most people are hesitant to get back into a relationship after their divorce has been finalized. After all, many divorces result in hurt feelings and you may need time to overcome those types of emotions. Divorced dating can be a tricky situation to get into. There is no need to date before you are ready. You could have been in a really bad relationship. You could have been married for decades and have no idea what to even expect out of the dating scene anymore. A divorce is usually an irreparable conflict of personalities, not to be confused with someone’s desire to be single. Most people don’t want to be single for the rest of their lives. They seek the companionship of another.

Divorced dating is something you must be absolutely sure you are ready for before you begin. Before you start looking for a date, you must first decide what you want. Are you looking to get into another serious relationship, or do you just want a casual connection? On a first date, it is necessary to let the person you are out with know your intentions. This will prevent mixed signals or giving them the wrong idea altogether. Honesty is always the best policy. There are many seeking only the dating experience and also many who want security in a serious relationship; possibly leading to a steady date or even marriage.

Let the person you are out with know that you are divorced. Divorced dating can be a strange, or even intimidating situation to be in. If you have children, you should prepare them before you enter back into the dating world. It may be easier for them to see mom/dad with someone else if they know what to expect. Children naturally want “mom and dad” to get back together. One needs to consider these feelings in the children and explain that it is probably not going to happen.

Divorced dating does not mean you have to date another divorcee, although it can be an interesting thing to have in common. You have to be prepared for bad dates, because they are almost inevitable. The experience of being married will be an advantage that allows you to know exactly what you want or don’t want in a new partner. There is someone out there for everyone; it just may take a while to find the right person. Don’t let it be discouraging; take it all with a grain of salt. Move slowly until you feel more and more confidence building up inside of you.

About the Author
For more information on Dating, please visit Dating Information Site for more information on dating online and offline. Also see the other site at

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Divorced Dating Getting Back Into the Scene

 Divorce Mediation – The Less Painful Way

A divorce usually takes place between a husband and wife over some misunderstandings, extra marital affairs or just because they can’t tolerate each other. Sometimes, the divorce proceedings take months where there is lots of emotional and psychological pain the family has to face. And to club this all, there is the high financial costs that have to be borne for the divorce to take place. The lawyers charge high fees, and the never ending process of divorce denotes the excess need of lawyers for a longer time.

All these complications arise when the parties are unwilling to negotiate due to bitterness and anger the parties have towards each other. There does not seem to be a mutual agreement that the couple can come across wherein both of them will be satisfied with the outcome of the divorce. Sometimes the case itself is so demanding that it does not permit the couple from coming together at a common settlement. Such will be its legal proceedings.

However, if and when the parties are ready to negotiate with the legal proceedings, they don’t have to suffer a painful process in the divorce. There is a less painful and less expensive option to the court proceedings. And this alternative is called divorce mediation and is a more civil and less emotional process to reach a divorce settlement.

In divorce mediation, both the parties undergo a legal process, like all other divorce cases. However, the difference here is that there is a trained and impartial third party who offers his or her services in the form of advice and assistance so that they can help the couple reach a mutual understanding. This does not mean that the two parties forsake the services of their divorce lawyers. They still do need the help of their respective lawyers through whom they are informed of all the specific legal procedures. This way there is no chance of any misunderstanding occurring; and with this, there is a better chance of reaching a mutual agreement with the help of mediation. Divorce mediation is actually a better choice for a couple seeking divorce as the stress and the cost that is involved in legal battles are avoided by the couple.

There is also proof that couples who go through the divorce procedure with a more ‘friendly’ and civil mode of mediation are usually more satisfied with the agreements that they reach. They reach a compromise earlier because the third party clears any doubts the two parties may have to reaching a mutual agreement. Another and the greatest benefit of divorce mediation is that it minimizes the trauma the children have to endure when parents decide to go their different ways.

So it can be seen that with divorce mediation, a divorce need not be more painful than it has to be, and there is no need of it being expensive either. This is because this is a more civil, less painful and more practical mode to reach a divorce settlement.

About the Author
For more info on divorce mediation and getting divorced, please visit our website. Divorce Mediation | Getting Divorced

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Divorce Mediation – The Less Painful Way

 So You’re Going through a Divorce! Should You Get Counseling?

I am a psychologist and marriage counselor in the Woodstock-Cary-Algonquin-Lake in the Hills and Crystal Lake area of Illinois. I find that there are 11 signs that indicate you or your family members would benefit from counseling when going through a divorce or separation.

What are these signs?

1.A relationship that is characterized by numerous arguments and conflicts that are disruptive to the emotional status of family members

2.A relationship which is saturated with strain, bitterness and tension just below the surface

3.When the talk of separation causes fear and anxiety in family members which significantly degrades the quality of daily life

4.The childrens uncertainty and worry about which ones will remain in the family home and which ones will re-locate

5. Children experiencing excessive stress, agitation, acting-out or conflict about being separated from a parent or sibling

6. Parents who should be separated but are still living under the same roof because of logistical or financial problems, thus causing increased coldness and estrangement in the home

7. Conflicts, arguments and frustration caused by a seriously compromised lifestyle engendered by financial stress caused by the expense of operating two households

8. Symptoms of acting-out, depression, anxiety, fear, rage, substance abuse or poor school performance in family members

9. Anger, bitterness, arguments and frustration caused by having to accommodate new step-parents, step-children or step-siblings

10. Child management and discipline problems that result from single parenting or lack of cooperation from the ex-spouse

11. Children that appear to be experiencing some guilt or anxiety for the marital failure

If you experience any of these issues, you can benefit from counseling. But if you begin, what can your counseling accomplish? How will it benefit you?

1.You will learn how to nurture your kids and reassure them that they are still loved and not responsible for the marital discord.

2.You will learn to develop flexible living arrangements that meet your kids needs.

3.If you and your partner are still living together, practical and clear guidelines will be set-up to keep the situation from getting more toxic.

4.You will discover how to integrate new additions to the family resulting from remarriage or cohabitation.

5.You will develop a plan for cooperative parenting that keeps you and your former spouse on the same page so conflicts can be minimized.

6.Your children will learn to accept the break-up as independent from anything they have ever said or done.

7.Your therapist may prescribe daily affirmations or motivating thoughts so that your subconscious mind really believes that you do not have to worry about the separation. When your subconscious believes it, your everyday mind will follow and the anxiety will disappear

10.The therapist may prescribe some articles or books for you to read about surviving divorce and ask that you select relevant concepts to discuss in your counseling session.

11.Your therapist will likely help you to develop an awareness of your fear of independence triggers and constructive ways to manage them.

12.You may be asked to write about how your unsatisfactory marriage contributed to your anxieties and those of your family members and how your divorced state may enhance your emotional recovery and that of your children.

13.Your therapist will assist you in developing insight into any personal or career changes that may be needed in order to maximize the success of your newly separated living situation.

15.You may be encouraged to increase your awareness of how your upbringing may have affected the way you behave in relationships. Often a traumatic past may linger or even lurk into your present, thereby encouraging a pattern of dysfunctional relationships.

16.In helping you to manage a traumatic past, your therapist may help you identify the role you played in your family of origin, the feelings associated with it and the way it may impact your current or future relationships.

17.The therapist may help you to identify self-defeating patterns relevant to the way you operate in relationships and suggest ways of modifying them so they are not repeated.

18.You will identify sources of ongoing support and reassurance to help you in effectively curtailing and managing your anxiety about starting anew.

About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He’s an expert marriage counselor and psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt or learn more about counseling at:

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So You’re Going through a Divorce! Should You Get Counseling?