Home > Collaborative Divorce > High Conflict Couples Litigation Divorce Process vs. Collaborative Divorce Process

High Conflict Couples Litigation Divorce Process vs. Collaborative Divorce Process

Comments are Off

Laura M. D’Orsi, Esq. and Dr. Karen B. Donahue, PsyD, a licensed psychologist, discuss high conflict couples in the context of litigated divorce vs. the collaborative process.

Our guests today are

Laura M. D’Orsi, Esq.

Member of the Bars of New Jersey, New York and the District of Columbia

Court Certified Mediator

Over 20 years experience as an attorney, and 12 years of experience practicing family law exclusively. I have practiced law at a large New York law firm in Washington, D.C. and at several small matrimonial boutique firms in New Jersey, prior to founding my own law firm, Law Offices of Laura M. D’Orsi, L.L.C. in 2011.

I am committed to mediation and the collaborative process and assisting families as they move through transition.

Contact Information

Address: 52 Reckless Place, Red Bank, New Jersey 07701
Phone: 732-741-3121
Email: ldorsi@lauradorsilaw.com
Website: http://www.lauradorsilaw.com/


Karen B. Donahue, PsyD

mt-karen1Karen Donahue has a Doctorate of Psychology, and is Licensed Professional Counselor.  Over the past ten years, Dr. Donahue’s private practice has focused on the unique needs of children, families, and adults in need of emotional support during life’s difficult transitions.  Her specialized training in child psychology and family dynamics enables her to understand each family member’s unique needs, allowing her to formulate meaningful interventions for all of her clients.  Dr. Donahue recognizes that although divorce is inherently a legal matter, the majority of obstacles that interfere with amicable negotiations and productive decision-making are driven by highly charged emotions. Just as great emotional bonds bring a couple to marriage, the dissolution of those connections oftentimes intensify the divorce process immensely. This common reality creates a vital need for the contributions of an experienced psychologist on the Collaborative Divorce Team.

Contact Information

Address: 1540 Route 138 West, Bldg. 2-Suite 203, Wall Township, NJ 07719
Phone: 732-528-5553
Email: drkdonahue@gmail.com


The major differences between litigation and the collaborative process.
Court involvement vs. personal autonomy

Team Focus vs adversarial communication


What happens when couple enters the litigation process.

  • What to expect- Attorneys, litigants and a Judge; possible forensic experts
  • Process of decision making
  • Time factors
  • Cost projections

What happens when the couple enters the Collaborative divorce process.

  •  What to expect- Attorneys, Neutral Team professionals, no judge
  • Process of decision making
  • Time factors
  • Cost projections

How experts work in a collaborative case.

  • Team members and roles of each
  • Specialty training
  • Participation Agreement
  • transparency and confidentiality
  • meetings, goals, & decision making
  • Which experts are typically used in a case

How the coach and child specialist work in the case. 

  • Role of the Coach
  • Role of the Child Specialist
  • Outcomes for children in divorced families with high conflict:
  • Protective factors
  • Risk factors
  • Importance of effective communication and listening skills
  • Importance of co parenting vs. parallell parenting for children post divorce


Laura M. D’Orsi, Esq.
Phone: 732-741-3121

Dr. Karen B. Donahue, PsyD,
Phone: 732-528-5553

Thank you for Listening!

Thank you for listening. Do you have comments or feedback to share? Please leave a note in the comment section below.

If you liked this episode, please share it on social media. Thank you Laura M. D’Orsi, Esq. and Dr. Karen B. Donahue, PsyD for joining us this week.

You may also like
How To Avoid The High Price Of High Conflict Divorce
Business Valuations Within The Divorce Process
Privacy During Divorce
How To Protect Privacy and Keep The Details of Your Divorce Out Of The Public Record
Dealing with Real Estate During Divorce
The Spouse and the House: Dealing with Real Estate During Divorce
Premarital Agreement
Collaborating on a Premarital Agreement Without Destroying The Romance
Best New Year’s Resolutions You Can Make For You and Your Child While Going Through Divorce
Dealing With Debt During Divorce
Alimony, Taxes and The Transfer of Marital Property
Special Needs Planning
Divorce and Planning For Children With Special Needs
Collaborative Divorce
The Value Of The Collaboratively Trained Team