Lessons from Christie Brinkley’s Divorce

As a collaborative divorce attorney and mediator, I spend a lot of time explaining the potential negative effects of an adversarial divorce. 

 

But, nothing exemplifies those negative effects as well as the story of Christie Brinkley and her husband.

 

They have been divorced since 2008, but they are still consumed by the anger and hard feelings generated in the divorce. 

 

Instead of moving on and finding happiness, they are emotionally chained to events that happened four years ago.  And imagine what their kids’ lives have been like since!

 

Unfortunately, this couple’s experience is not unique.  Less famous stories like theirs play out every day for many couples who choose to handle their divorce in a “win/lose”, “me versus you”, “attack mode” process like going to court or traditional negotiation process.

 

One of the keys to collaborative divorce is “de-escalation”, or the lowering of tensions and emotions during the negotiation process.  This helps couples think clearly and productively.  And, it models the blue print for a healthy future co-parenting relationship.

 

I can’t help but wonder what would have been possible for Christie Brinkley, her husband and her kids if they had chosen the collaborative divorce process.  I suspect that her Today interview would have been about her career, as intended, instead of her divorce.  

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