Insight into the Insight Approach in my Practice

Insight into the Insight Approach in my Practice

I’ve spent years honing my legal practice and the way I approach family law for a reason: I want to make my client’s divorce experience comfortable and more productive for them; and I want the process that my client invests so much energy in to have a greater purpose and more positive impact than simply getting to the end – dissolving their marriage.

That’s why I embrace the Insight Approach for conflict resolution in my practice and use it in Mediation, Collaborative Divorce and even in Litigation cases. (Well, frankly, I use it in everything I do, personal and professional. Once you are steeped in the Insight Approach, you take it with you everywhere!)

But I sought out this training, and became an expert in Collaborative Divorce, because I believe both of these wise methods pave a path that makes it easier to move forward after a breakup, for all involved.

For parents, the Insight Approach causes them to pause and reflect to consider what they know about themselves, the other parent and their children, and then to make decisions with this knowledge as their north star. It encourages clients to let the other parent lead, if necessary, to achieve a satisfying outcome for both parties. It embraces a learning process driven by what is truly best for the kids and not let ego get in the way – which happens way too often in divorce.

Basically, I want to limit the drama and expand the possibilities for co-parenting with success.

And for clients whose children are adults or who never had children, using my Insight Approach training, my client will also understand what is important to them and what they value at a deeper level to help guide their decision making throughout the process.

As attorneys skilled in the Insight Approach for conflict resolution we facilitate discussions between parties in the direction they want to take their family post-divorce. Thoughtful, productive, respectful and mutually beneficial conversations.

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It’s not without challenge – not by a long shot! Divorce is a breakup. There are emotions, hurt feelings, old wounds and those can certainly create obstacles, but the right process deals with them.

When we set out with a deliberate desire to keep it peaceful and productive, we can and do achieve this! And the Insight Approach is the best way I’ve found to make this happen.

In the end, everyone gets to a good place. With this method, I can bring out the underlying ability everyone has deep within, to respect the other person and bring them to a healthy compromise where they are both happy and ready to move forward.

It’s important to understand why a particular family law attorney practices in the way that they do. When a client meets with me for an introductory meeting, I explain my perspective, my approach, my track record, and why I offer the specific methods for divorce that I do. I hope potential clients ask these questions of ALL lawyers they interview.

I’m sure not everyone does. And that’s why I’m writing about it here. Because the more we know, the more possibilities we have to end up content, empowered and ready to move on.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

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It’s no secret that we are big fans of Collaborative Divorce here at Transitions Legal, and this blog will tell you why.

First and foremost, Collaborative Divorce is the most humane approach to the legal process of ending a marriage. It’s in the definition! Professionals trained in Collaborative Practice come together to facilitate the dissolution of a marriage.

Collaborative Practice is a way of resolving disputes without ending up in a courtroom and asking a judge to decide how you’ll move forward. This approach originated in the Midwestern United States in the mid-20th century and the movement, and it popularity are growing every day.

Both people must agree to the Collaborative approach to divorce. And then, once they do, each spouse hires a collaboratively-trained lawyer to represent them.

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But there’s more. Joining the lawyers and the clients on the Collaborative Divorce team are mental health professionals, financial professionals, business and tax experts, and sometimes even advocates for the children. Whichever professionals will be most helpful in the case.

All participants in the Collaborative process sign a contract agreeing to this approach. Today, there are about 22,000 lawyers trained in Collaborative Law worldwide, with more than 50,000 cases already completed according to this method.

Even judges are on board with Collaborative Divorce, according to the American Bar Association. That’s because the process keeps courts from being cluttered with needless litigation.

Other benefits of Collaborative Divorce include…

  • A high level of privacy and confidentiality
  • More client control over the process
  • An opportunity to be creative and innovative with settlement details
  • A focus on building positive, fruitful post-divorce relationships
  • Prioritizes the children
  • A variety of productive perspectives and guidance

Learn more about Collaborative Divorce the Transitions Legal way here.

All the Approaches to Divorce

All the Approaches to Divorce

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There are so many approaches to divorce, options and paths to a healthy split today! I’m glad to see how much the legal arena has evolved to allow various approaches to family law, driven by the priorities and values of the divorcing couple.

It used to be that divorce was a dirty word, and the only option was to go to court and have a judge preside over your desire to uncouple. In those cases, families were often stigmatized, and in days of old, someone had to be at fault and women largely got custody of children.

We’ve come a long way, thankfully!

Many judges – dare I say, the good ones — are more empathetic and understanding of the variety of circumstances that can lead to a marital breakup. Likewise, they are often sensitive to how the split will affect children and the best judges make decisions with the children’s well-being in mind.

As far as how to proceed with a legal divorce, couples can choose Litigation, Mediation or Collaborative Divorce. Litigation is straight-to-court proceedings, with a judge directing the timeline for the couple and making decisions for the family when the couple cannot.

Litigation may be the only option for some couples who have animosity, abuse or resentment. Many divorces start out this way and it’s good that we have a system that can facilitate the legal breakup – but if it’s hard-going all the way through the divorce, that may forecast a tumultuous future. Many couples with children who divorce through Litigation end up back in court not long after the official Judgment of Divorce is rendered.

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Mediation can be a milder approach, with two people coming to one table with a Mediator facilitating the compromises they can make to uncouple. As a certified Mediator in the state of Michigan using the Insight Approach, I love when couples choose Mediation as a way to end their marriage, because it usually means they are seeking a more peaceful dissolution.

Collaborative Divorce is dear to my heart, and an approach to family law that I am passionate about. By far the most amicable path to divorce, Collaborative assembles a team of professionals all trained in Collaborative Practice, and this team hovers around the divorcing couple to work out the best way forward.

The Collaborative Divorce team can include therapists, divorce coaches, financial planners, and more. It’s never a bad thing to have more expertise weighing in on the decisions you’ll be making for the next phase of your life!!

Whichever way you choose to go, know that you have options for how you divorce! And Transitions Legal is here to support you at the highest level.

2023 Hot Trends in Divorce and Family Law

2023 Hot Trends in Divorce and Family Law

While the pandemic itself is mostly behind us, we are living with COVID-19 as a regular virus for the most part, and life is starting to look more livable. Here’s a look at what we can expect in 2023 trends in family law and divorce.

Less Adversarial Approaches to Divorce

a 2023 trend in divorce will be less adversarial approaches

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People are realizing how beneficial it is to break up with dignity and grace, and how much more affordable it can be, so I anticipate more couples wanting a less adversarial approach to divorce. Sometimes called “no-fault divorce,” it’s always better to look ahead as opposed to looking behind at what caused discontent.

More Gray Divorce

As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age and Generation X is closely on their heels, we will continue to see a surge in Gray Divorce, the term for couples who break up after age 50. These relationships may have simply run their course, with the couple growing apart as they advance in career and personal pursuits.

Continued Growth in Collaborative Divorce

Every year, more lawyers become certified Collaborative practitioners once they see the benefits of a team approach to divorce. This dovetails with the prediction of less adversarial approaches to divorce in the year ahead!

More Divorce Filings by Women

a 2023 trend in divorce will be more filings by women

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This has been a hot trend in the 21st century as women gain financial independence. That will impact 2023 trends in divorce, too! Fully two-thirds of divorce filings in recent years have been initiated by women. It used to be that a woman only had access and agency when she was married. Not so anymore!

  • Continued Decline in Divorce Overall

Younger generations are not as quick to marry as their forebears, which makes them cautious and mindful – and less likely to divorce when they delay marriage and think it through more fully. For the last decade, the divorce rate in America has steadily declined, and we will likely continue to see that fall in the year ahead!

Preparing for Divorce Month

January has been dubbed “Divorce Month” in some circles because of the surge in divorce filings that happen after the new year. If you’re going to call it quits in 2023, here’s what you need to know and do to be prepared!

  1. Decide HOW you want to divorce.
Prepare for Divorce Month

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From Mediation to Collaborative Divorce to duking it out in Court, there are many ways to end a marriage. I prefer the first two options for my clients rather than Litigation because of the responsiveness, flexibility and respect Mediation and Collaborative Divorce can offer to couples. Yes, you’re splitting – but that doesn’t mean you have to do it viciously. Mediation and Collaborative Divorce offer more peace-focused, work-together ways to break up than appearing before a judge in a cold courtroom, virtually, and waiting for her to make decisions about you and your family. How you divorce can determine how you move forward after your divorce – especially if you have children.

  1. Find an attorney.

Do your research online, ask friends for recommendations, check out attorney websites and make a short list of practitioners who seem to match your vibe and desired approach. Then email or call to set up introductory meetings to determine if the chemistry will work for you!

  1. Consider costs.
budgeting is part of preparing for divorce month

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Not only the dollars you’ll lay out for representation, but the cost to your mental health if you choose a less responsive, more cantankerous approach. Identifying your priorities and values will help guide you to the right way to divorce, and if you choose a less combative path, you’ll likely pay less – not only in fees to experts, but in your time and well-being.

  1. Get your house in order.

Before you divorce, you should have a sense of the assets in your marriage – including values, deeds and documentation for your house and other collective property. Gather documents for investments, businesses, tax returns, and other assets in advance. Come to the table prepared with information!

  1. Learn the laws.

It never hurts to do a little online surfing to find out what the laws are in your state regarding divorce, custody, parenting time and marital assets. And of course, talk to your attorney about the laws. That way, you walk into the divorce process with realistic expectations for how your life might look after the split.

  1. Do some career planning.

Whether you’ve worked the whole time or stayed at home raising kids, it’s wise to build a post-divorce budget, establish your own credit and financial accounts, and look for the type of work that will allow you to live on your own once your marriage ends. Don’t worry or be afraid – planning and researching can erase anxiety and concerns, and help you create a workable plan for your future. You may have to change your lifestyle, but at least you’ll know what you’re walking into!

  1. Play nice.

You may want the divorce, or you may be hurt and angry that your spouse initiated the split – either way, do your best to get along, be kind and do not lash out. A divorce ignites lots of emotions – good people are often at their worst when going through a divorce. Keep your eye on the ball – a happy and livable outcome for you and your children, yes, even your adult children – and choose behaviors and words that will get you there.