Mental Health and Divorce Series: Benefits of Collaborative Law

Robin M. Mermans, Esq

Conflict from divorce is known to cause an increased risk of stress, anxiety, and depression. In fact, according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, divorce is considered the second highest stressor of someone’s life. This research, as well as countless other studies, proves that there are great concerns for mental health and wellness while someone is experiencing divorce.

Here at ROAD to RESOLUTION, we are committed to helping our clients decrease the amount of conflict they face during their divorce journey to lower these mental health risks. As a way to spread awareness about the importance of considering mental health during divorce, I am writing a series of blogs that shed light on this vital topic. Over the next several months, we will discuss various issues and areas for concern about mental health before, during, and after divorce. In the first part of this series, I will share how resources used during a collaborative divorce offer support for the mental health and wellness of the divorcing spouses and their children.

Various Stressors of Separation and Divorce

For those experiencing the challenging journey of divorce, you know that there is often added stress and emotion. Many of these feelings stem from added conflict; however, other aspects come from the pressure of the legal system, especially during divorce litigation. I know this all too well from my own experience with separation, divorce, and subsequent single parenting. When my former husband and I chose to separate and later divorce, it was a tumultuous journey. We hired divorce litigation attorneys and went through the traditional divorce process because we didn’t know we had other options.

By the time our divorce was finalized, I was overwhelmed and stressed. My children were also affected as they went from one home to two. It was a difficult time for all of us and I knew there had to be a better way to divorce. Once I learned about alternative dispute resolution processes, I became dedicated to helping others divorce in a healthier way. I founded ROAD to RESOLUTION as a non-attorney mediator, earned my Juris Doctor and passed bar exams in North Carolina and South Carolina, and became a collaborative trained attorney. Now, ROAD to RESOLUTION is a divorce mediation and collaborative family law firm in Charlotte that is dedicated to guiding clients through their divorce journey with confidence and dignity.

Collaborative Divorce Prioritizes Mental Health

Now happily remarried, my husband and I have five children under two separate parenting agreements. We have both personally experienced the challenges of divorce and we’ve seen the impact that conflict from litigated divorce can have on children. I’ve made it my mission to help other families who are going through divorce to choose a better divorce process, such as collaborative law. I truly believe that it is one of the healthiest ways to divorce because it prioritizes individuals, their families, and their mental health.

Through this non-adversarial model, divorcing spouses don’t step foot into a courtroom or have decisions made by a judge. Instead, each spouse and their respective attorneys meet during roundtable discussions to untangle the business of their marriage and develop a path forward. With respectful communication and guidance from their attorneys, they are able to create a plan that works for everyone involved, including their children.

Using the Expertise of Mental Health Professionals

Another added benefit of collaborative divorce is that additional experts and coaches may be brought in during the process to assist. Oftentimes, we will use financial experts to help separate assets and child specialists to assist with parenting plans. We also highlight the importance of bringing in mental health professionals. These experts, who are trained in collaborative divorce, can serve as advocates for the divorcing couple in terms of handling stress, reducing conflict, and processing emotions. These mental health professionals can also be useful for providing information for children. Collaborative law is the only type of practice that encourages these types of specialists to be used during the divorce process.

Through utilizing the collaborative divorce method, divorcing spouses I’ve worked with admit to feeling less stressed during the process than they anticipated. Many have also shared with me that they dealt with less conflict compared to the litigated divorce of a friend or family member.

At ROAD to RESOLUTION, we prioritize the mental health and well-being of our clients and their families. My goal as a collaborative family law attorney is to help my clients feel informed and supported during the entire process. In addition to their representation, I want them to know that their mental health and wellness during their divorce journey is just as important. Through a collaborative divorce, my team and I work to ensure that a client’s mental health is at the forefront of their divorce journey. We want our clients to experience a divorce without unnecessary stress, conflict, and turmoil. ROAD to RESOLUTION genuinely cares and wants the best for clients and their families during and after divorce.

We’re Here to Help

The ROAD to RESOLUTION legal team can assist you every step of the way during your divorce journey and on your road to resolution. Please give us a call at (980) 260-1600 and we can discuss your legal opportunities through collaborative divorce. Our Charlotte-based team is here to help you and your family.

The ROAD to RESOLUTION Divorce Blog can help you differentiate the fact from the fiction, and guide you towards the support you need during this difficult time. Use our resources and services to find all the info you need—from pre-divorce education to drafting essential legal documents. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you.

Note: This blog is intended to be informational only and shall not be construed as legal advice.

Robin M. Mermans, Esq
Founder and Principal Attorney

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Mental Health and Divorce Series: Benefits of Collaborative Law

We are committed to helping our clients decrease the amount of conflict they face during their divorce journey to lower these mental health risks.

Contact our law firm today to schedule an initial consultation.