First off, today’s guest and I have one thing glaringly in common: the names we’ve chosen for our respective businesses. But Shelby Timmins’ business name, Divorce Done Differently, isn’t the only reason I was desperate to get her on the show.
Divorce has historically been played out in courtrooms, fuelled by anger and resentment. Shelby – who is not only the founder of Divorce Done Differently but also a nationally accredited mediator, collaborative coach and upcoming author – is all about changing that.
What if, instead of fighting it out in court, whole families were appointed teams of specialists who each took responsibility for one aspect of the divorce process?
When a family is referred to Shelby, she always starts by speaking to each family member about their hopes and anxieties. Nine times out of ten, she says, there are no ill-intentions, nobody hates each other and the whole ‘taking him for everything he’s got’ attitude just isn’t a thing.
When divorce gets ugly, it turns out, is often an after-effect of having separate lawyers, each with the objective of securing the most ‘stuff’ for their client.
Divorce Done Differently acknowledges and embraces the fact that at the heart of every divorce is a family that’s hurting. Maybe it’s time for lawyers to take a step back from divorce and for a new kind of team, composed of sensitive, trained, multi-disciplinary professionals, to take the reins. Maybe, just maybe, approaching divorce this way will lead to alleviating that pain.
Shelby’s focus on the family at the heart of separation is finding new life in her upcoming book all about divorce for kids. In the episode, Shelby delves into the real-life experiences that prompted her to write the book and why it’s important for kids not to be kept in the dark.
Some of the topics we cover:
- Collaborative practice and conflict coaching
- The trouble with conventional legal approaches to divorce
- Why Shelby is writing a book about divorce for kids
About today’s guest – Shelby Timmins
Shelby got her Certificate in Community Mediation fresh out of Law School in Tasmania over 20 years ago. From there, she joined a law firm in Sydney where she worked as a family lawyer before stepping away from legal practice to start up her dispute resolution business, Divorce Done Differently.
At DDD Shelby specialises in mediation, collaborative divorce, parenting co-ordination, conflict coaching and divorce coaching. As a relatively new practice, Shelby is pioneering a modern, inclusive approach to the process of divorce by focusing on what’s sitting underneath and leaving the legal matters on the bench.
More recently, Shelby is in the process of writing a book about divorce for kids. In her own words, the concept is: everything you’re afraid to ask but need to know about your parents’ divorce. With her calming presence, her rich experience and her eyes set firmly on progress, I have no doubt that a great many children will benefit from the words of Shelby Timmins.
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- For more about doing law differently in the divorce space, check out related episode 46 with Rose Cocchario, the passionate driving force behind Resolve Divorce