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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