Psychology Orlando

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Role of a Psychologist in Collaborative Law

Deborah O. Day, Psy.D - Friday, December 19, 2014

The founders of the Orlando Collaborative Law for Divorce practice, Stu Webb and Ron Ousky, recognize that approximately eighty percent of what a person deals with in a divorce is emotional, while the remaining twenty percent is legal. They believed that having divorce “coaches on the team allows the lawyers to stay centered on…reaching mutually satisfactory settlements.”


In order to assist the couple with the emotions, the Orlando psychologists, often referred to as the “divorce coaches,” meet individually with each client for at least one session. These sessions are private, and the information is not discussed during the negotiation meetings. Once the individual sessions are over, it is common for the couple and both divorce coaches to meet. During these sessions, all of the emotions involved in the divorce can safely come out in the open. The divorce coaches are there to help assist the couple with the emotions and work through them in order to provide a less emotional atmosphere during negotiations. These sessions are also vital for parents with children to learn how to discuss the divorce with them.


When the clients are ready, they meet with their divorce coaches and their lawyers to begin negotiations of their settlement. It is hopeful that by this stage in the divorce, the couple will be able to handle the negotiation in a business-like fashion. When the couple is able to put their emotions aside, they can effectively solve problems, make decisions, and co-parent children.

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Collaborative Law

Deborah O. Day, Psy.D - Monday, November 04, 2013

In collaborative law, a couple wishing to divorce works with their lawyers, and often, their psychologists, in order to settle the matter out of court. This kind of law is much cleaner than taking a divorce to trial, where often both the spouses and their lawyers will turn towards malicious in-fighting and dirty tactics in order to get the judge to rule in their favor. In this method of divorce, the lawyers and the spouses can work together to find a settlement that is amenable not just for each other, but also for the children and for the property. Though the negotiations can go on for days or even months, studies show that divorces out of court tend to be more amicable and any children from the marriage are better adjusted.


Psychologist are not only brought in in order to evaluate a child who might be having a difficult time with his parents’ divorce, he is also brought in to assess the mental states of the parents, and to determine if it is safe for the child to be placed with either parent. They may also be consulted in order to determine the relative worth of items which are being divided. There is rarely only monetary value involved in divorce disputes, and often a psychologist can clear the air and help the couple reach a more peaceful agreement, one based on facts, rather than on emotions.

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