Collaborative Divorce Coaching

It’s never easy….

You may have mixed feelings about your relationship. Or you may feel sure that it hasn’t been right or felt good, for way too long.

It can be hard to leave what you know, even if you know it’s not good for you.   And it can be scary to start over, realizing that the unknown lies ahead – even if the unknown will be better than how things are now.

So many questions. You may feel confused. Or too numb to feel anything. And if children are part of your decision, how do you really know what’s best for them? Decisions you make now can have a serious impact in the years ahead.

Is there a better way?

Although nothing can completely take away the pain you may be feeling, there could be a better way to end your relationship, other than litigation. A way that encourages respectful communication, preserves your dignity, and promotes win-win solutions for both of you – including your children. This approach is collaborative divorce.

Is Collaborative Divorce for you? Ask yourself these questions….

  • Do you want to communicate purposefully, rather than engage in non-stop arguing and name-calling?
  • Do you think it’s a waste of money and time, to play the ‘blame game’ in litigation, rather than focus on your future?
  • Do you believe using your children in a tug-of-war can harm their well-being?
  • Do you feel it’s best for your children, to have a healthy co-parenting relationship?
  • Do you want decision-making control for the outcome of your divorce, instead of strangers deciding your fate?
  • Is it important for your privacy to be respected, rather than having intimate matters recorded in the public record?

Did you answer yes to even just question? If so, you owe it to yourself to learn about collaborative divorce.

How Collaborative Divorce works

  • It is a conflict resolution process that establishes a non-adversarial atmosphere of cooperation, with the future well-being of the couple or family, as the goal.
  • A team of neutral professionals, specially trained in collaborative family law, collaborate to help you achieve a win-win outcome.
  • The focus is to maximize settlement options for all parties, including:
    • Promoting healthy communication post-divorce, and
    • Minimizing, if not eliminating, negative economic and emotional consequences of adversarial court proceedings, for all parties.
  • Team members include legal counsel for each spouse, a neutral financial specialist, a child advocate/specialist if children are involved, and a divorce coach for each spouse.
  • Although there can be one divorce coach for the team, there is some evidence showing greater effectiveness when each party has his/her own coach.

What is the role of a divorce coach?

  • As a mental health professional, a divorce coach helps you problem-solve solutions and avoid emotional outbursts. These cost time and money, and interfere with a win-win outcome. A divorce coach does not function as a therapist nor does s/he replace the role of a therapist.

A divorce coach:

  • Helps you recognize potential hot buttons, and avoid name-calling and rehashing of past events. Left unchecked, this can stall and even defeat the entire process.
  • Encourages and guides you to communicate with respect, being patient while listening to each other, and speaking with a focus on solutions for the future.
  • Guides you to gain perspective on each of your points of view.
  • Helps you clarify and sort out priorities for your future life – whether it’s your career, finances, potential relocation, lifestyle, extended family relationships, or other concerns.
  • If children are involved, supports both of you to prioritize your children’s needs both during and post-divorce. The collaborative divorce process tends to promote a healthier relationship between spouses, translating to improved well-being for your children.

Why engage Marilyn Fettner as your divorce coach?

  • Education, training, and professionalism.
    • A Fellow in the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois and member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals, Marilyn has taken extensive training in collaborative divorce law.
    • Additional memberships include American Counseling Association, Illinois Mental Health Counseling Association, National Board for Certified Counselors, and National Career Development Association.
    • She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, certified AchieveGlobal Coaching Instructor, National Certified Counselor, certified Master Career Counselor, and trained in Gottman Couples Method.
  • Caring and compassion.
    • Recognizing the emotional upheaval of a divorce, Marilyn places the best interests of her clients as a priority.
    • With compassion and without judgment, she educates, guides, and coaches her clients through the process in the most positive way possible.
  • Experience and knowledge.
    • Marilyn founded her practice in 1998 and has nearly 25 years of coaching experience.
    • Throughout this time, one of her specializations has remained relationships – helping people build healthy relationships, repair damaged relationships, and move on from relationships that are toxic, or have just run their course.
    • Marilyn’s work in counseling couples, and coaching people with difficult workplace, social, and extended family relationships all involves managing emotions, conflicts and using effective communication techniques. This work relates to the fundamental functions she successfully employs as a collaborative divorce coach.

“A collaborative divorce is a conflict resolution process that establishes a non-adversarial atmosphere of cooperation.”