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Divorce Is Not The End Of A Family
Parents have a lifetime commitment to their children.
By Karyn Altman
(South Florida Times, September 2002)

Divorce is the end of a marriage. It is not the end of a family. Helping divorced couples become lifetime collaborative co-parents is a passion and commitment shared by business partners Irene Schatz, Ph.D. and Debra Baer, B.C.L., founders of Collaborative Divorce Consultants.

With over 25 years of experience as an attorney specializing in family and divorce and family mediation, Debra C. Baer is well versed on the ramifications of divorce and the potentially destructive effects they can have on children, all too often, caught in the crossfire of bitter battles which have little or nothing to do with them. A Ph.D. and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator with over 27 years of experience in clinical social work and marriage and family therapy, Irene M. Schatz brings to the table a therapeutic approach for helping parents and stepparents move from conflict to cooperation. This approach is shaped by a clear understanding of the dynamics of family relationships during crisis. Together they formed their company, Collaborative Divorce Consultants, out of a shared commitment to address the challenges of divorce and educate parents on the devastating emotional and psychological effects divorce can have on their children when marital issues take priority over parenting responsibilities. The goal is to shift the path of bitter battles and emotional trauma to a road of resolution and collaboration.

Often called miracle workers due a high level of success, their approach is truly unique. The use of mediation techniques combined with counseling strategies facilitates the co-creation of new relationship models, which emphasize communication and cooperation for the sake of the children. It’s about avoiding costly court battles by finding solutions and not focusing on past problems. Reaffirming what can work instead of dwelling on past failures. Establishing new boundaries and a new set of rules based on realistic understanding of each person’s expectations are crucial to accommodate these newly formed family structures from a healthy perspective. Sessions will often include new spouses, significant others and even biological and step-grandparents, all of whom play important roles in the lives of the children. The goal for these family members is to establish a new paradigm as co-authors in their own, new and improved, future relationships.


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