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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2006
The authors have succeeded in creating an easily accessible and remarkably complete guide to thinking about and managing this difficult process. The combination of legal and emotional insight will resonate strongly with anyone who has participated in divorce and goes on to skillfully guide the reader through the alternative. Clearly there is a better way and this work hits on all the different aspects, how to approach them and the high value of avoiding the legal process. This is a must read for anyone contemplating divorce. The outcome will be a dramatically better experience, better settlement and an easier path to the rest of one's life. Top rating.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2006
Book review

This book brilliantly blends a deep understanding of the awful complexities of divorce with a layman's readability. Divorce is not easy and the authors do not try to say it is. Pauline and Peggy capture why litigation does not work by examining the underlying processes of this emotional, financial and legal transition at a time of impaired decision making. I know! I served as a Domestic Judge for over 13 years and was never able to adequately explain to divorcing spouses the court's inherent inability to serve their needs. Collaborative Divorce leads to an understanding of why court does not work in family situations as it guides readers around the emotional traps that sabotage even your best efforts. This book should be required reading for anyone contemplating divorce. Every professional involved in divorce (lawyers, counselors, financial advisers) should read and reread the book on a regular basis. It breaks down the steps of what at first appears to be a complicated process and very clearly presents a compelling argument for exploring this method of restructuring a family during an unbelievably stressful time. Pauline and Peggy capture both the essence and detail of this exciting movement. If you only read one book on divorce, you owe it to your children and yourself to make it this one. Parents, even if you feel like Court is right for you (It isn't because it is not right for anyone in divorce. In over 1500 cases I never saw a winner.) read this book before you let a lawyer convince you the old way is best. Lawyers, read this book to learn how to enjoy helping families through divorce instead of particpating in the carnage.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Divorce is a melancholy song of life. For some it sings a song of hope, but for most it is a dirge of fear, guilt, anger, depression and negative feelings. Wading through the emotional aspects of a divorce has been said to be even more overwhelming than those of the legal. Pauline H. Tesler, M.A, J.D. and Peggy Thompson, Ph.D. cannot bring back those magical feelings you once felt upon initially entering your marriage, but can and do help ease the pain and bring order into your life with hopes for a new beginning in their new book, collaborative divorce: The Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move on with Your Life.

More than a few of us remember the old televised series entitled "Divorce Court" where couples would hammer out their woes in front of Judge Voltaire Perkins. Mental cruelty, desertion, adultery, alcohol abuse and other heinous "crimes" in which people aired their dirty laundry were amusing to the audience, but in the real world were painful facts of life. Inevitably the Judge would announce the loser and smiles would go out to the winner. For many years it was a winner takes all situation, but in today's world, a world in which we find collaborative divorce, it is a win-win situation all around.

The collaborative divorce, while not meant to revitalize a weary or downright dead marriage, sets the scene in which a couple can exit a marriage with dignity and grace while addressing the most intimate concerns of the union. In a nut shell collaborative divorce uses a non-adversarial approach to sorting out the emotional, financial and legal issues encountered by a couple during the separation and divorce process, a process in which the couple works together with others to direct and redirect their own lives. An interdisciplinary team utilizes "coaches" for each individual spouse, a financial analyst and, most important, a child specialist for the children. Collaborative divorce meets the immediate needs of a couple or family while addressing and maintaining future relations long after the legal process has ended. Surprisingly enough, according to the authors the costs "will generally be much lower than if traditional adversarial lawyers had handled the case as a legal battle."

Initially I had many misgivings about the book as I tend to be somewhat leery of the terms "revolutionary" and "new" in the title of any newly issued book as it usually signifies "fad," but once I started to read the book I quickly "discovered" the extreme importance of the "revolutionary new" concept of collaborative divorce. Excellent, excellent ... I can't say enough about the importance of this extremely well written book. It should be of especial interest to those in long term marriages, those with entangled financial assets and most importantly for couples with children. I'd recommend purchasing not one, but two of these books, one for you, one for your spouse. Maintaining dignity and grace are priceless.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2006
As the matriarch in a very large extended family, where there is much love but conflict may be unavoidable, I read Collaborative Divorce with great interest. I hope my family will not need to use it, but just in case, I bought a copy for each couple around me. Bitter divorces are expensive, painful, they create long-term resentment, and make it difficult to raise healthy children. The damaging effects of failed or thwarted love can and should be avoided. That is the point of this book. According to the authors, when there is a commitment to integrity, ethical

behavior, clear communications, and constructive problem-solving, a divorce should be a solution and not a cause for more entrenched conflict. Collaborative Divorce shows there are smarter and kinder ways for a couple to part.

ISABEL ALLENDE
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Many divorce lawyers (including me) are jumping on the band wagon for this much more respectful way to divorce. Pauline Tesler is one of the top trainers in the industry and has a huge following among divorce professionals. This is not a how-to-do-it-yourself book but helps you make more intelligent decisions about how to handle your divorce.

Buy one for yourself and one for your to-be ex spouse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2009
This is a wonderfully easy to read introduction to collaborative law, particularly for non-lawyers who are investigating an alternative to the insanity of divorce litigation; lawyers will find it extremely useful as well. Please, please buy this book for yourselves, for your sake and the sake of your family and friends. Even if you don't become involved in a collaborative divorce, you will gain insights about mindfully shaping the family law experience that will serve you well!

Thurman W. Arnold III

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on January 26, 2015
Collaborative Divorce may well be a marketing ploy sold to states by attorneys. States say that it is a great concept with only anecdotal evidence. Maybe it's great if no children are involved. A fractured family is a fractured family whether together or apart. Kids are resilient,but they need support and love from grandparents and others who can let the adults exes duke it out, as if the children don't know what is going on. (That's my anecdotal experience as a grandfather watching an emotional mess develop and deteriorate before his very eyes.)
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on July 24, 2013
If you are facing a divorce, this is a good book to read. If it must happen, then try to make it as low on pain and suffering as possible. Everyone involved will appreciate it. Let the past remain in the past and look forward. I recommend that you look at other forms of divorce as well. Mediation is also an option. I believe any alternative to paying lots of money to lawyers is always better, unless you are rich and can afford to throw your money away.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2006
This is a wonderful, welcome addition to the list of resources for spouses considering or going through collaborative divorce. Clear, organized, and full of "real life" examples, I would highly recommend this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2012
I gave up reading this book because the focus was too narrow and the writing too long winded. I skimmed everything and concluded that reading all of it would be a waste of my time. The book focused mainly on using different types of professionals to handle the divorce: coach/psychologists, child specialists, financial advisors, and collaborative lawyers.

One thing I was hoping to get from the book was a thorough, organized inventory of issues that need to be considered during a divorce (issues involving child custody, dividing finances fairly, etc.) The book mentions many issues, but not in an orgnized manner. They are scattered throughout the book. The book basically advises, "leave everything to the professionals, and this is how they'll handle it for you." There are examples in the book of how people handled things well, but in general I found the tone of the book slightly condescending.

I kept thinking as I was reading this book, "Why am I reading this? I might as well talk to one of these professionals myself instead of reading about talking to the professionals." In my opinion, this book could have easily made its point in 100 pages or less.
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