Mar 31, 2023
Across North America, almost half of all marriages will end in divorce or separation. Even though divorce is a complex process that requires legal, psychological and financial considerations, there may be ways to make it just a bit less painful. Nanci Smith’s book “Untangling Your Marriage: A Guide to Collaborative Divorce” attempts to dispel some negative messaging about divorce and show us that divorce can be achieved with dignity, mutual respect, integrity, and compassion.
Listen to our conversation with lawyer & author Nanci Smith as we get an introduction to both the mindset and the process of Collaborative Divorce, an interdisciplinary, non-adversarial divorce model. In Collaborative Divorce, Smith how the process provides a guide through emotional issues such as anger, sadness, rage, betrayal, etc. with everyone in the family unit. And, how a neutral financial expert helps to collect, organize, and clearly presents the financial resources of the couple so that there is an even playing field to negotiate the final settlement terms. The lawyers provide legal advice throughout the process without being adversarial, and making a difficult situation, worse.
Nanci Smith is a lawyer and author who began her career in litigation firms focusing on Criminal Litigation and Family Law. She also worked representing victims of domestic violence and people with psychiatric diagnoses in mental health civil proceedings. She is a member of the Vermont Bar Association, is the Chair of the Vermont Bar Association Collaborative Section, and a member of the Collaborative Practice Vermont, an Interdisciplinary Practice Group. Smith has received advanced training in and practices Collaborative Divorce and Collaborative Mediation at her solo practice.
Smith’s book presents a candid and open view of divorce from the viewpoint of an experienced divorce lawyer who has also through a divorce herself. Smith unlocks a collaborative approach to any divorce advising deep listening, invention, flexibility, and the capacity to pivot away from shame and blame and towards acceptance. She identifies these practices to counteract the volatile and complex issues related to divorce.
Listen to our conversation with Nanci Smith as she shows us how to emerge from a divorce, sound and sincere, working through bitterness and resentment. The heart of her approach is to reframe divorce from an act full of shame and blame to a place where divorce is seen as a type of mourning.