Mar. 1, 2017    Collaborative Divorce from Conflict to Resolution

       Syd Sharples, LCSW                  

   Private practice, Austin, TX                        1.5 CE/CME/CEU/PDs (Clinical)

Divorce is a conflict – with a resolution – that over 50% of the married population experiences. Collaborative divorce is one of many options for divorcing couples. It prohibits the use of the court system as a forum for settling disputes and in so doing ensures that the attorneys involved in the case are motivated not by adversarial shenanigans, but by arriving at a resolution. For couples with minor children, the collaborative model offers an alternative that minimizes the devastation of divorce that typifies the rancorous legal battles we so often hear about.

As mental health professionals, it is helpful to understand the collaborative approach as a resource for couples we work with.

Syd Sharples, LCSW has practiced psychotherapy in Austin for the past 15 years, working with both individuals and couples in her private practice. She also sees clients one day a week at Capital Area Counseling. In addition to her psychotherapy practice, Syd works as a neutral process facilitator in collaborative divorce cases, assisting divorcing couples and their attorneys in arriving at resolution. She has been an active participant in local and statewide collaborative efforts, most recently serving as the first non-attorney to chair the board of Collaborative Divorce Texas.

Prior to earning her MSSW from UT-Austin, Syd spent nearly twenty years in the business world. She holds an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford University.

Learning Objectives:  At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

     Identify the ideal situations to utilize collaborative divorce as a potential referral option for divorcing couples clients

     Describe three identifying distinctions between collaborative divorce and other divorce processes


Amato, P., Kane, J.  James, S.  (2011). Reconsidering the Good Divorce. Family Relations, 60, 511-524.

Cameron, Leah (2008) "The Possible Negative Emotional and Psychological Consequences in Children of Divorce,"ESSAI: Vol. 6, Article 15.

Fisher, Ury and Patton, Getting to Yes

Tesler and Thompson, Collaborative Divorce: A New Paradigm

Webb and Ousky, The Collaborative Way to Divorce

Brumley and Fairchild, Divorce Without Disaster

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