Sheila Furr PHD

Peaceful Uncoupling

Relationships usually begin with joy and hope but sometimes things go awry and the couple faces “uncoupling”, otherwise called a breakup, separation or even a divorce. Commonly, this is associated with challenge, conflict and disrespect and it can be emotionally tumultuous. There is a better way, based on respect and cooperation. Peaceful uncoupling is the transition from an intact relationship to a new, forward moving relationship, but without acrimony. I work with couples in different approaches to accomplish this, focusing on the future with compassion and respect for each other’s needs:

Divorce Counseling

This is a safe space for the couple to consider their needs, concerns, and fears as they end their relationship and move forward in their lives. Especially when they share children, divorce counseling helps the separating couple communicate better with each other and make decisions which address both their needs and interests. This is not marriage counseling as they have made the decision to move forward with their divorce but choose to do it with dignity and care. Sometimes, with a deep understanding of themselves and their partner, some couples do reconcile. Alternatively, it may lead to a sense of closure and allow each person to move forward with less resentment and emotional baggage.

Mediation/collaborative mediation

As a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family mediator and utilizing my skills and experience as an Accredited Collaborative Professional, I work with couples to help them reach decisions about the emotional and parenting pieces of uncoupling. The divorce process is an emotional, financial, and legal process. I help divorcing couples address the emotional issues of their divorce before recommending a financial neutral and Collaborative lawyers to address the financial and legal issues. This is a confidential process which allows couples to put their family first in the divorce process with the goal of reducing conflict and hostility. When the emotional issues are handled first, it can lead to better decision making for the financial and legal issues you may experience during the process.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is a private and out-of-court dispute resolution process. This is a team approach where each of the partners is represented by their own Collaboratively trained attorney, but there is also a neutral Financial expert and a neutral mental health Facilitator, all of whom make the commitment not to go to Court. Utilizing option building based on understanding underlying interests, the couple reaches decisions on how to address the legal, financial, and emotional/parenting aspects of divorce. The Collaborative attorneys write the required Marital Settlement Agreement, the financial expert analyses the assets and liabilities and drafts an Equitable Distribution Schedule, and the Facilitator meets with the couple to discuss the needs of the children and the parenting schedule the parents feel works best for their family. Laws must be followed, but the couple retains control over their future and can creatively problem solve.

Parenting Plan Consultation

Some couples choose to be self- represented or are not yet ready to seek legal advice, but they want to work out how separation will impact the children and how to create a durable timeshare schedule. These couples may have decided to live separately, temporarily, or permanently, but they share the commitment to make decisions in the best interest of their children. This consultation may include how to tell the children of the changes in the family structure.


Get In Touch

Family Mediator

Dr. Sheila Furr is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator who helps divorcing couples in a voluntary and consensual process known as mediation to facilitate the negotiation of a divorce or dispute. Some couples would rather address the emotional and parenting issues with a mental health professional rather than start their process with a lawyer. Financial issues have a clear emotional component and sometimes Dr Furr co-mediates with a collaboratively trained financial expert. Should there be a need for legal advice, a lawyer can be brought into the process. When the full team makes sense, Collaborative Mediation might be the answer.

Child Specialist

As a Child Specialist, Dr. Furr serves as the voice of the child in the collaborative process, while keeping them out of parental conflict. The child specialist is a neutral member of the collaborative professional team providing support to the family and advocacy for the children. She helps the parents focus on the best interests of their children based on meeting them and assessing their needs. The purpose of a child specialist during the divorce process is to minimize the impact of the divorce on your children and to create an individualized parenting plan and timeshare schedule.

Neutral Facilitator

Serving as a Neutral Facilitator in the Collaborative Process, Dr. Sheila Furr guides you, your spouse/partner, and the Collaborative team through the Collaborative Divorce process. As the Neutral Facilitator, Dr. Furr will help divorcing spouses navigate through difficult and emotional discussions to ensure that the needs of the entire family are considered. As a psychologist and communication specialist, she will help guide discussion to keep communication productive and respectful. When there are minors involved, Dr. Furr will meet with the parents in the preparation of the parenting plan and timeshare schedule.

Accredited Collaborative Professional

Accredited Collaborative Professionals are amongst the most experienced Collaborative Professionals in the State of Florida. To receive the distinction of an Accredited Collaborative Professional, Dr. Sheila Furr met all the standards of education, ethics and experience set forth by the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals.