Twitter Facebook Myspace

Zen and the Art of Handling Divorce

Photo courtesy of FreeFoto.com

One of our goals at The Law Collaborative is to support the professionals who assist families in crisis in creating and maintaining collaborative practices. We believe that the California Family Law system as it stands today is destructive and harmful to families in transition, and we work every day to make a difference.  That said, when we find other professionals in the U.S. who are working just as hard as we are to create a kinder, gentler way for families to reorganize in the face of divorce, we like to send them a little love.

Today we’d like to point you in the direction of Nanci Smith, a family law attorney in Vermont who advocates for Collaborative Law and Mediation. From an article by Mel Huff of the Times Argus Staff:

A former client characterizes her approach as “Zen,” although Smith says she wouldn’t call
it Zen with a capital Z. She explains what she does as “trying to help people get through the
divorce process, or civil union dissolution process, purposefully, mindfully and as humanely
as possible, given the circumstances.”

Sometimes, however, what people want is for their lawyer to be their gladiator or pit bull or
their shark. “That’s under-standable,” Smith says, “because divorce is so overwhelming. It’s
as if there’s a death in the family, except nobody is bringing food. It’s a great loss. There’s
sadness and anger and regret and fear. You have to work through all of those emotions to
get to acceptance, and hopefully, a sense of freedom at the end.”

If a couple can preserve some sense of decency, she says, they can move on “without
ruining their relationship with somebody they once loved.” Choosing the “warrior path,” on the other hand, can lead to a process that is “indecent and cruel and vicious.”

Read the full article here…