Using the collaborative law process has been found to have many benefits on participants’ mental health, including: reducing stress, improving communication, and promoting a sense of empowerment and control.
Going through a legal conflict can be incredibly stressful, particularly when it involves a significant emotional and financial investment. The traditional adversarial legal system can add to this stress, as you and your partner or spouse are pitted against each other. You may even feel that you are fighting for your very survival.
Collaborative law, on the other hand, is designed to reduce this stress by creating a more supportive and cooperative environment. You and your partner or spouse are encouraged to work together to find solutions that work your family. Rather than being locked into a win-lose mentality. This can significantly reduce the stress and anxiety associated with legal conflicts, leading to better long-term emotional outcomes for both you and your children.
Involves Mental Health Professionals
Also of great benefit is the involvement of mental health professionals in the process. These professionals help you identify, acknowledge, and address underlying emotional issues that may impede the progress of the separation process. They can help you develop skills to work through your emotions when you become triggered so you can think clearly, respectfully, and reasonably. This can help both of you feel heard, acknowledged, and validated, and at the same time, keep meetings productive.
In the traditional legal system, communication between parties can be strained or even nonexistent, as lawyers are often the primary points of contact, and communication is often done through letter writing and court documents. This tends to lead to misunderstandings, miscommunications, and even further conflict.
In contrast, collaborative law requires that you communicate openly and honestly with each other. This can lead to a better understanding of each other’s needs and perspectives, which is more likely to result in creative and mutually beneficial solutions. Improved communication can also lead to better mental health outcomes, as it can reduce feelings of isolation and promote a sense of connection and understanding.
Promotes Sense of Empowerment and Control
In the traditional legal system, you may feel you have little control over the outcome of your case.
In contrast, collaborative law gives you a greater degree of control over the process and outcome. You participate actively in the negotiation and decision-making process, which can lead to a greater sense of empowerment and control. This can be particularly beneficial for mental health, as it can promote feelings of confidence, autonomy, independence, and self-efficacy.
Less Costly & Time Consuming
In addition to these benefits, collaborative law has also been found to be less expensive and time-consuming than traditional legal proceedings. This can be particularly important for mental health, as financial and time-related stressors can have a significant impacts on mental health outcomes.
By reducing stress, involving mental health professionals, improving communication, promoting a sense of empowerment and control, and being less expensive and time-consuming than traditional legal proceedings, collaborative law can foster better mental health outcomes for everyone involved.
Further, by being an active participate and learning skills to cope with your emotions and communicate better, the collaborative law process promotes and supports healthier coparenting relationships long term, after the legal separation process is over and the collaborative team is out of the picture.
If you are in the process of separating and are concerned about the impact on your mental health, consider exploring collaborative law.
For more information on the benefits of the collaborative law process, check out our other blog posts: “I want a divorce” – How Collaborative Law can keep you out of court and on good terms and Five Things About Divorce That Suck and How Collaborative Law Makes It Easier
For mental health resources near you, visit the Canadian Mental Health Association website.
By Rhoni Mackenzie
If you have questions about the collaborative law process, contact me today at email@example.com.