The 4 F Model of Divorce

Here is a useful model for the divorce coach team member who is facilitating a 5-way meeting in the collaborative law approach to divorce.  This model dovetails with a set of expectations of ideal conduct appropriate for both attorneys as well as each spouse.

Forgive (what happened in the PAST )

  1. Letting go is always a possibility, even if in the background when not yet ready (relinquish).
  2. Emphasis on kindness and mercy creates a positive energy and attitude.
  3. When from the heart, your forgiving helps you finish to this marital chapter of your life story.
  4. Forgiveness may need to be more the purview of therapy than divorce coaching.

Focus (in the PRESENT with control over one’s emotions).  Negotiate sensibly.

  1. Stay on concrete points of fact rather than negative emotions.
  2. Appeal to both your own and your partners strengths; overlook flaws.

Forbearance or forbid (in the PRESENT with control over one’s own MOUTH).

  1. Resisting and showing abstinence, avoidance, endurance, fortitude, living with, moderation, patience, grace, refraining, restraint, self-control, temperance, tolerance.
  2. Learn to say no to oneself and the other.
  3. Circumvent the negative energy

Forge forward (using your left brain and planning your FUTURE)

  1. Partner meetings are dignified business meetings
  2. Fumble free agenda.
  3. Niceness begets niceness.
  4. Healing energy and peace will be created

So lets all work together to facilitate forgiving, focusing, forbidding and forward forging — when possible with a sense of humor. As Billy Crystal and Patch Adams have demonstrated, it can be done with other deaths. And it is possible when dealing with the metaphorical death of divorce.  And if you are co-parents then your commitment to co-parenting can be stronger than your commitment was to your marriage!

You may download this file as a PDF

The 4 F Model of the Divorce Coach and Child Specialist Team Member©

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  • Shel J. Miller, Ph.D.

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