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You're getting divorced – what choices do you have? Who will help you, protect you and your children, advocate for you, and make sure you'll get what your due? Great questions. Important considerations. Necessary outcomes.

But, wait! …does this need to be an adversarial, litigation-driven process that involves the court?

Divorce requires family restructuring. Divorce signals the end of an intimate partnership, but not the end of a family for children. Divorce disrupts, disorganizes, and defines a new future. But divorce does not need to disadvantage, destroy, or damage family members.

The adversarial, litigation process is expensive, built on a conflict-escalation model that often results in "win-lose" outcomes. Loss, pain, and enmity are normalized as just part of the process. The on-going conflict with high emotional impact prevents stability and places all family members in jeopardy. Children suffer.

Family law professionals everywhere recognize that with enough of the right support, families can restructure and complete their divorce documents outside of the court system. Adults can navigate the difficult emotional terrain in a constructive, conflict resolving way with experts on family transition. Parents can separate their anger, hurt and loss as spouses from their hopes and dreams for their children's future.

Family law professionals are finding ways to take family law matters back from the courts and bring them into a process where all members' needs and interests are considered and the post-divorce family matters! Attorneys, mediators, financial specialists, highly qualified divorce coaches, co-parent coaches, and other professionals with advanced training in conflict resolution are banning together to ensure divorcing couples and families have non-adversarial options when faced with divorce or separation.

No Court 4 Families 2025: A Family Preserving Initiative

"No Court 4 Families 2025" is dedicated to creating an environment for parents where non-adversarial dispute resolution options are available, accessible and affordable to help families facing separation / divorce / family conflict. You can enlist legal, financial, mediation, and mental health professionals to help your family skillfully and with self-determination, walk through the fire of family change with the respect and support necessary to create durable agreements that preserve childhoods, conserve family resources, and ensure stable futures.

"No Court 4 Families 2025" is a full-court press to keep families out of the court system. The aim is to shift family disputes from the traditional court system by changing the adversarial culture of conflict where anger and hurt is magnified and capitalized and important issues are lost in a convoluted procedural maze, to one where conscious and compassionate endings are resolved by a clear, self-determined path toward healthier futures. The goal is to divert 80% or more of current family disputes from the traditional court process and into a dispute resolution process tailored to each family's needs by the year 2025. Join the cultural shift from enmity to equanimity for families in conflict."

Karen Bonnell

Karen has over 25 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families facing transition, loss, stress and change. Karen played an instrumental role in developing the year-long facilitator-training program for the Compassionate Listening Project. Karen served on the Board of King County Collaborative Law and Collaborative Professionals of Washington. She is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and Academy of Professional Family Mediators. Ms. Bonnell is the author of "The Co-Parents' Handbook" ( ) and more recently, "The Parenting Plan Handbook" ( . ) – both practical, compassionate resources for parents as they face difficult emotions and make some of the hardest decisions for their children and themselves through separation/divorce. You can learn more about Karen Bonnell and her practice at

Join the Conversation on DivorceForce Today!