As a Collaborative Attorney, this sort of thing makes me proud to be a Member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota (CLI). I’m really excited to share that this May, CLI is hosting a four-day, international symposium to explore love and forgiveness in Collaborative Practice. The event is titled “Divorce: What’s Love Got to do With it?” This event, to my knowledge, isn’t for people experiencing divorce. It’s for professionals who help people that are going through a divorce. Now, why you may ask is this important? Well, I think it’s really cool that a group of dedicated professionals is really thinking about how to make things better for divorcing families and families experiencing other life-events that we include under the label Family Law. A grant from The Fetzer Institute is making it possible. You’ll want to check out their website; it’s really cool. Here is a sample of their take on love and forgiveness in the world:
We believe in the transformative power of love, love that protects us in our vulnerability while also impelling us to tend to the needs of others. We believe that forgiveness can also be transformative, a process that further extends the healing power of love. We accept that these forces have power: power to heal, and power to transform even the most difficult, troubled situation into something that is generative, affirming, and life-giving. In a world that seems dominated by aggression and separation, we are part of a broad and deep yearning for something different.
I recently submitted my application to be a part of the host committee and to help brainstorm after the symposium is all done as part of the implementation committee to figure out ways to incorporate love and forgiveness into Collaborative Practice on a local and practical level. To learn how love and forgiveness can play a part in your family, contact Arnold Law and Mediation or locate another Collaborative Professional.
Love Design 2009 - OpeningLove and Divorce?  You don’t hear those words together very often.  After all, divorce means the end of love, doesn’t it? Well, yes and no. Yes, divorce means that a certain type of romantic love has ended, at least for one spouse. But having watched thousands of divorces over thirty years,  I have been an eye witness to the fact that much of the love lives on.  Certainly, when there are children, the love between the parents and their children does not go away.  Indeed, sometimes it emerges with even more strength in the way that all crises have the potential to draw us closer. I have even also seen love, or at least loving behavior, sustained by husbands and wives who choose not to fully extinguish a flame that once burned so brightly.   Admittedly love is an awkward word to use in this context and I have not often heard my divorcing clients use the word love when talking about their soon-to-be ex-spouse.  But love is more than just a feeling.  One of the Webster definition’s of Love is “the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.” People that divorce can choose to continue to have concern for their former spouse, for the sake of the children, for the sake of their own integrity, or simply because they choose to do so. Our divorce laws require couples to acknowledge an “irretrievable breakdown of a marriage relationship,” but it does not require people to forfeit their love and affection for each other and it actually encourages divorcing parents to behave in a way that shows concern for each other. One of the things I like about the Collaborative divorce process is that it allows and, where possible, even encourages, couples to behave in a loving manner. Indeed, next May, the Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota, along with the Fetzer Institute is actually hosting a worldwide symposium to find ways to expand the ways that love, compassion and forgiveness can help divorcing families. So maybe, just maybe, for some courageous divorcing couples, love can have a lot to do with it.