Larry Stone, MFT

Located in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Offices in Santa Clara, Contra Costa and Alameda Counties

Collaborative Practice

Collaborative Divorce

In addition to my work in Mediation, Co-parenting Counseling, and performing Court Ordered Child Custody Evaluations, I have trained in the team approach to Collaborative Practice, and am available to function in the capacity of either Divorce Coach or Child Specialist.

As a specialist for clients dealing with Family Law issues, I have had the opportunity to work with families going through high conflict, adversarial, divorce, and have seen the terrible effect of these conflicts on the family members, especially the children. I am dedicated to helping families learn to reduce their conflicts, communicate with each other in productive rather than destructive ways, and most importantly, learn to work together for the sake of their children.

Being myself a single parent, I understand from the perspective of a parent, as well as from that of a therapist, how important it is to the children in a divorced family that parents are able to put aside the personal animosity that typically accompanies divorce, resolve differences peacefully, and cooperate in their parenting. The outcome for children of parents who are able to do this is likely to be significantly more favorable than for children of parents who continue the marital conflicts after divorce.

My experience has led me to become a strong believer in Collaborative Divorce, which I see as an effective path to a successful, long term, co-parenting relationship that benefits both adults and children. I am convinced that it is a better solution in every way than adversarial divorce, which often exacerbates the conflicts, drains family finances, and leaves the entire family traumatized for years. For couples who are not able at this time to get along well enough to work with a single mediator, but who recognize the importance of avoiding the adversarial process, it is an ideal solution.

In Collaborative Divorce, a team of specialists works together to guide the family through the divorce process. Each of the parties is represented by an attorney, and supported by a therapist in the role of Divorce Coach. When there are children involved, a therapist in the role of Child Specialist meets with the children, and helps the family to understand the children's needs and perspective. A Financial Specialist is also generally involved.

The key to the Collaborative Process is that the entire team is committed to not going to court, but to helping the family work out and negotiate a solution that all can accept. Although the number of experts involved makes this process more expensive than a simple mediation, it is typically far less expensive than going through a high conflict, adversarial divorce, in addition to resulting in a better outcome for the entire family.

I am the author of the book "Divorcing Peacefully: Why It's Essential and How To Do It".

I am currently available for referrals.

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