A little known fact about me is that I am about the twenty-fifth generation of the direct descendents of Governor William Bradford who arrived here on the Mayflower in 1620. Before my marriage, my legal name was Joanne Sara Bradford Overholt and that’s the name on all my diplomas and licenses.
There is a lesson for all of us to learn from the historic “tale” of the Indians helping the Pilgrims survive that first New England winter. Try to imagine the fear and awe they felt when facing each other for the first time. These pioneers relied on guides and translators to communicate, offered gifts of food and drink, and strived to find common ground upon which to lay the foundation of a future and hopefully mutually beneficial relationships.
Makes me think of a collaborative divorce team meeting.
Team meetings are attended by both clients, their respective collaborative counsel, their divorce coach, or coaches and their financial neutral. Please imagine a well-orchestrated business meeting rather than an old-fashioned tense, ugly and unproductive litigation four way.
Spouses and partners rely on their collaboratively trained lawyers to guide them through the legal issues common to most divorces such as custody, parenting time, support, and property division. An offering of chocolate or munchies soothes nerves and prevents sugar crashes. Divorce coaches work as “translators” to improve communication, facilitate negotiations and build a structure for resolving future conflict.
This Thanksgiving season I am truly grateful for having discovered collaborative divorce practice and all the benefits it has brought to my clients, my law practice, and my life.
I’d like to think the Pilgrims’ Governor would be proud of this collaborative pioneer.
Sending wishes for a happy, safe and grateful Thanksgiving to all…
Updated: November 22, 2021