Flipping A Coin

Recently, I was standing the living room of a couple who chose the collaborative process for their divorce. My task was to help them divide their furnishings in a respectful way that felt “fair” to both of them. Whenever a few moments passed with discussion and no agreement, I simply said “Heads or Tails.” They both accepted that approach and quickly realized it made the most sense if they were unable to quickly agree upon an item.

Driving home, I reflected on how I spent the prior seven hours…in someone’s home, walking room to room, and being present as they opened cabinets, looked at old photos, and discussed various momentos that carried a history for their family. It created for me a variety of thoughts and feelings that varied from “Did I really go to graduate school to flip a coin when needed?” to “I feel that I am somehow invading private space for this family” and lastly “I am so grateful the collaborative process offers this family a neutral set of eyes and ears to help them work thru these decisions.”

For 12 years, I have worked as a Neutral Mental Health Professional in collaborative divorce matters. I have been able to transfer my skills to help facilitate difficult discussions in other areas of the law as well. I learned much from my “neutral seat” and will be sharing some of those lessons and observations in this blog. The journey continues…