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What Do Psychologists Think About Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is obviously popular among couples in North Carolina, and many lawyers also claim that this is the best way for most spouses to end their marriages. But what do psychologists think? This is an important question for many spouses, especially those who are concerned about the potential mental health effects on themselves, their family members, and their children. The truth is that divorce can be an incredibly traumatic experience for everyone involved, and it makes sense to consider the psychological aspect of this process in addition to the financial and legal factors. So what do psychologists think about collaborative divorce? Is it something that they recommend?

One of the best things about collaborative divorce is that you are free to get help from a wide range of professionals. While psychologists can certainly assist in this process, you are also going to need to work with a qualified family law attorney in North Carolina who has plenty of experience with this process. Book a consultation with an attorney as soon as possible, and you can start discussing your unique concerns and priorities – whether those concerns primarily involve financial matters, mental health concerns, or the overall legal process.

Prominent USC Professor Championed Collaborative Divorce

Professor Constance Ahrons, emeritus professor of Sociology at USC Dornsife College of Letters, was well-known for “championing” collaborative divorce before her passing in February of 2022. A trained psychotherapist, Ahrons believed that collaborative divorce allows couples to “agree to disagree” while providing a more positive experience for children. Ahrons is still recognized today for coining the term “binuclear,” which refers to a family in which parents live apart but continue to each play a role in the raising of their children. She also argued that a good divorce was “not an oxymoron,” and that children can “emerge at least as emotionally well as they were before the divorce.”

In addition, Ahrons called for the destigmatization of divorce at a time when this process was still quite frowned upon. This caused to be criticized by many individuals who claimed she was actively contributing to the decline of the nuclear family. In 1987, she published the well-received book Divorced Families: A Multidisciplinary Developmental View.

Psychologist Believes Collaborative Divorce Has “Great Potential”

A psychologist in Massachusetts also has positive things to say about collaborative divorce, and he believes that this process can be especially beneficial for children. Sanford Portnoy, PhD. claims that collaborative divorce can bring lawyers and psychologists together, allowing children to adjust to changing families in a healthy, realistic way. In a 2011 article published by the American Psychologist Association, Portnoy stated:

“For psychologists, collaborative divorce has a couple of ingredients that make it the best of all possible worlds. When I finish a collaborative case that has been successful, it feels like the most valuable type of service I’ve ever delivered. It’s also lucrative. And that’s an unbeatable combination.”

Portnoy also works with couples before the negotiations begin, helping them address common areas of disagreement so that they can move forward in an efficient manner. This careful, “human” approach to divorce just is not possible in a litigated divorce, where couples are often pitted against each other in an inherently combative manner. Portnoy believes that mental health professionals should play a greater role in the divorce process, and he has stated that lawyers and psychologists could team up to create an excellent all-around experience for divorcing spouses. This could be a growing trend in the United States. Portnoy’s colleague explained:

“Collaborative law is a very interesting side venue that most psychologists and psychologists-in-training haven’t heard about yet. Sandy is one of the pioneers who has helped to integrate psychology into this important arena.”

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in North Carolina, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have assisted numerous divorcing spouses in the North Carolina area, and we have plenty of experience with collaborative divorce. As you can see, collaborative divorce is often celebrated by psychologists around the nation for being the best possible route for couples to take. It can help limit the psychological effects of this traumatic experience not just for you, but also for your children. That being said, collaborative divorce is also beneficial in many different ways from a purely legal context. For example, this process is typically faster and cheaper than a litigated divorce. If you would like to discuss this option in greater detail, do not hesitate to reach out today.