One of the most difficult times in our lives is when we choose or are faced with changing some of the most basic aspects of how we live. Where we live, who we live with, what our children experience, how much financial security we have, or what kind of work we do are all potentially affected when we end a relationship.
One of the decisions partners are faced with if that time arrives is what model of divorce to choose. You can do it yourself, otherwise known as a kitchen table divorce, go to a mediator, hire a court-based attorney, or you can decide to have a collaborative divorce. In a collaborative divorce, you will each have your own attorney and divorce coach to help guide you through the legal, financial, and emotional aspects of divorcing.
Here are 11 reasons you may want to consider this divorce option:
- The basis of a collaborative divorce is that you are working with professionals to maintain a dignified, self-respecting divorce that does not denigrate the relationship you have had with your spouse and works to keep the relationship intact as coparents.
- You are not in the position of being told what will happen. Both of you are responsible for making the decisions that will determine how your postdivorce family will function. In court, you often have a “winner” and a “loser.” In a collaborative divorce, the intent is that you two make decisions together, with help, during a time that is often very emotional.
- Collaborative attorneys and divorce coaches work with you to inspire mutual empathy, clarity of thought, and emotional stability in an effort to keep you both empowered and supportive of your mutual financial arrangements and coparenting relationship.
- A child specialist will talk with your children, explain some of the aspects of divorce, help them to think and talk about their experience of their parents ending their romantic relationship, and make a presentation to you about what they have learned that will be helpful in formulating your parenting plan.
- A financial specialist will work with both of you to determine your financial picture and what choices will be most effective for both of you and your children.
- You will be in a better position to comfortably attend your children’s events together such as sporting events, concerts, graduations, marriages, births, etc. You may find that your friends have an easier time maintaining friendships with both of you because you are not in a conflict where may feel they have to choose sides.
- In a collaborative divorce, you are given strong incentives to work through the process. Your team of professionals will not follow you to court should either one of you become frustrated and leave this process. Instead, the team can stay with you to help smooth over some of the rough spots that occur when a family is in this type of transition.
- Collaborative divorce affords you more privacy than you would have going to court. You do not need to file arguments explaining why you believe the parenting time or financial arrangements should occur in a certain way.
- When needed, additional experts can be brought in to aid in the process. For example, you might need a business valuator, a vocational counselor, or a tax expert. Having training in the collaborative process is useful in maintaining cooperation as you work toward your goals.
- Rather than decisions made on the courtroom steps or “horse trading,” the goal is to come up with creative, long-lasting solutions developed from various scenarios until the one that is right for your family is found.
- We know that divorcing isn’t easy. We also know it can be easier when there is cooperation and mutual goal setting. You are encouraged to focus on where you are going rather than where you have been. You will receive help to develop better communication skills as you make the necessary decisions facing your family while we provide legal and financial information as well as emotional guidance to both of you.
These are just some of the reasons to consider a collaborative divorce. You can find more information and online access to collaborative practitioners at collaborativepractice.com.
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