Divorce is hard, but it doesn’t have to be so painful. Collaborative Divorce offers a different, more peaceful path to ending a marriage; this book shows you how to do it.
Divorce is like a death in the family, except no one is bringing you food.
This book is a myth buster, and an antidote to the negative messaging about divorce. It offers hope and encouragement for the reader to choose a divorce process that aligns with their own core values. Values such as dignity, mutual respect, integrity, and compassion. It offers the reader an introduction to Collaborative Divorce, both the mindset and the process, as it has been established and practiced for the past thirty years. Collaborative divorce is an interdisciplinary, non-adversarial divorce model. It is like mediation on steroids.
Divorce is a complex process. It involves legal, psychological, and financial considerations. Collaborative divorce uses an interdisciplinary approach, and it is not dominated by the lawyers and is more cost efficient. A skillful mental health coach addresses emotional issues such as anger, sadness, rage, betrayal, guilt, shame, excitement, relief, and acceptance for everyone in the family. The financial neutral will collect, organize, analyze, and present the financial resources of the couple in a way to ensure an equal understanding of what can often feel like overwhelming amount of data. The lawyers provide legal advice.
The core focus of the book is to reframe divorce from a shame and blame game to a paradigm where divorce is viewed through the lens of grief. It offers each reader an opportunity to show up for their divorce and present their best selves, even if they don’t feel like it. It emphasizes honor and respect for everyone involved.
This book is an open and honest portrayal of divorce from the perspective of a veteran divorce attorney, who has also been divorced. We live in a time of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. A divorce is just like that, and the antidote to those conditions include concepts like collaboration, deep listening, innovation, flexibility, and an ability to pivot.
Collaborative divorce is the best kept secret of family lawyers. It is an opportunity to emerge from a divorce, healthy and wholehearted, not bitter, and resentful. Learn how to do it here.
Nanci A. Smith, Esq., is an attorney licensed to practice in Vermont and New York. She is the Chair of the Collaborative Divorce section of the Vermont Bar Association. She is a leader in her collaborative divorce practice group, and a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She frequently writes and talks about divorce, family law, ethics, and Collaborative Divorce practices. She believes a good divorce is possible when you show up for it with humility, compassion, and the correct support.
Nanci A. Smith is a true writer, in part because of how she makes the insurmountable seem wholly attainable, thanks to some hard work, a good legal team, and a sense of proactive communication between both parties. With the release of Untangling Your Marriage, she tackles a boogeyman most of us don’t think about until we’ve tied the knot. Divorce, sadly, remains a highly contentious topic — even by today’s standards. For someone, particularly with firsthand professional experience, to write a book that so justly and humanely addresses such taboos head-on, it’s a welcome relief from the proverbial beating around the bush many of Untangling Your Marriage’s literary peers suffer from.
Reading this book by Nanci Smith is like sitting down to tea with a close friend you can trust. She empathizes with the grief, offers hope and realistic strategies for recovery, and she's tough: challenging divorcing spouses to bring their highest selves to a Collaborative Divorce process. A must-read for people who want to protect their children from the damage of divorce and create a healthy transition to being single again
Marriage is the only condition in our lives deemed a success only if one of you dies while doing it. For all the others, divorce has been held out as a failure, an acrimonious and awful game where the only winning left to you is to make your spouse the biggest loser. This book offers an entirely different way of making sense, making progress, and moving into a better next chapter. Using her experience as a lawyer leading this interdisciplinary re-conception of what divorce can mean, Smith offers a compassionate and practical guide through the tangle of emotional, financial, and legal complexities. This book offers the world a better version of what could be the bittersweet end to a successful chapter of marriage—and it might just change your life.
Untangling Your Marriage helps couples “untie the knot” with a clear, compassionate and practical path forward. Written by a fellow human being, who happens to be a lawyer, this book demystifies the legal divorce process and attends to the emotional side of things. Readers will learn how to choose the right kind of lawyer (and other divorce professionals) who will support them to create a new vision for their future - one that attends to the important relationships they created while together. Nanci Smith’s voice is truly engaging and real.
Nanci Smith has written a nuanced and approachable book that is a gift to anyone looking for an approach to dissolving and recreating relationships.
Smith introduces the reader to an alternative approach to divorce, one that honors the intense grief of the divorce experience, as opposed to the more common adversarial approach that typically results in more damage and pain. The book is both practical with the information, tools, and advice it provides for utilizing the Collaborative Divorce process, as well as inspirational, inviting the reader to discover personal growth in the midst of facing what is often one of life's most painful experiences.
Believing that a good divorce is possible when people show up for it with humility, compassion, and the proper support, the author informs readers about a family-focused divorce process that offers hope and healing.
Nanci Smith’s Untangling Your Marriage is not just another book about divorce. This is a book about all that a Collaborative approach to your uncoupling can provide: agency, creating a legacy for your children and yourself, creativity, and so much more. Nanci has written a book that is accessible to anyone heading into a divorce process and which, in addition to so much more, offers hope that your post-divorce life will be all you want it to be, even if the reader cannot yet see it.
Nanci A. Smith writes with a kind of authority and precision that makes a work like Untangling Your Marriage truly stand out amongst its literary, and specific nonfiction peers. She is able to highlight concurrently the pragmatic aspects of divorce’s emotionality, and the process required to handle that emotionality in a disciplined and rational manner.
Nanci A. Smith’s new book, Untangling Your Marriage, is an elixir to the stereotypical stagnation of divorce as a concept, let alone a chapter in one’s life. It’s something that can be definitively christened as a twenty first-century book. I don’t think I would have seen something so knowledgeable, so statistical, but so surprisingly compassionate and compassionately focused ten to twenty years ago…. Smith has the style and charisma to keep the reader engaged, and a literary bedside manner to boot which helps them feel calmed, with their feet on the ground, and steered in the right direction.
In the spirit of narrative terminologies a la Conscious Uncoupling, and the more common Taking Space, Nanci Smith is a welcome, grown up breath of fresh air with the introduction of the term and concepts related to ‘Collaborative Divorce’. In her new book, Smith tirelessly and fastidiously covers how to navigate one of the most difficult aspects of a relationship’s decompensation in style, class, and dealings of substance. There’s never the feeling she’s wording anything in, and there’s an almost uncomfortable sense that she has a personal stake in communicating how to navigate such personally uncharted waters. In the spirit of this, Smith writes with a kind of gusto, an unusually upbeat tempo that never comes across as flippantly positive, or overenthusiastic about a low point in one’s personal trajectory. But it maintains that one has to face the music and face the facts, and that doing so in a manner mature and nuanced on take one has the potential to carry the day for the better, or if handled detrimentally for the worse.
Not only about the litigation highlights, but the book also acts like a personal counselor with valuable insights on psycho, spiritual, emotional health while covering how to be your best self during your divorce explained with terms and children/no children and much more. Reading this book means getting clarity on collaborative divorce process over adversarial divorce that’s dangerous, like a bloodbath of family in a court. No one can survive its ramifications. In adversarial divorce process discovery process is tedious and costly…. All in all, the book’s nature is highly informative. And it certainly looks like it is coming from a veteran of the field. Such a complex legal content but Nanci pragmatically explained everything. Undoubtedly, it’s a valuable book for many.
I applaud Nanci A. Smith’s new book. With the release of Untangling Your Marriage, she lays out the groundwork for what I would argue is one of the most humane, sound, and effective strategies to realize one’s divorce with a little dignity. The bar even recognizes the methodology, so that should say something! With the way Smith writes, things feel matter-of-fact and to-the-point.
6/8/23, The Art of Healthy Living: Nanci Smith wrote about the grieving process of divorce.
10/19/22, Wellbeing Magazine: Nanci A. Smith shared tips and guidelines from her book in this piece.