April 3rd, 2016 by Wanzer Edwards
If you are considering divorce you are probably wondering about your options. If you do not necessarily want to ask a judge to make all the important decisions about your children and property, you are likely doing some research on alternatives to going to court. The Collaborative divorce process may have popped up in your research and for good reason. The popularity of Collaborative divorce is growing nationally and even internationally. Divorcing people are turning to this process where everyone agrees not to go to court because it provides them with a way to create a tailored divorce settlement using a team of professionals focused on the healthy transition of the family.
As you consider Collaborative divorce along with your other options, let’s get real about what Collaborative divorce is and what it is not. Exploring some of the myths and truths of Collaborative divorce will help you decide if this is the right process for your family.
Collaborative divorce is better for kids. Truth! Many people choose the Collaborative divorce process because they want to prioritize being good co-parents at the conclusion of the divorce process. The Collaborative divorce process is designed to get co-parents talking about the needs and interests of their children. Too often the needs of children are lost in the shuffle of parent-focused arguments when parents go to court. In Collaborative divorce, specially trained lawyers, child specialists and divorce coaches help parent to focus on the well-being of their children through the divorce process and beyond. The settlement solutions reached during the Collaborative divorce process are generally more specific and tailored toward the healthy transition of the whole family.
Collaborative divorce is more expensive because of the additional team members. Myth! It may seem at first blush that expanding the divorce team from just two lawyers to one coach, two lawyers and a financial professional or child specialist would dramatically increase the cost. Often the opposite is true. With each professional working in his or her area of expertise, time and resources are spent more efficiently. This allows the lawyers, who are usually billing at the highest rates, to spend less overall time on the case. In addition, going to court is extremely expensive due to the extensive information gathering and preparation needed to make effective arguments to a judge. If that extra work is removed from the process and replaced with a solutions-based team, both the cost and time expended tend to decrease. Each case is unique, but overall Collaborative cases tend to be faster and less expensive than traditional litigation.
Collaborative divorce is nicer, kinder and happier. Truth and Myth! Trying to defeat your co-parent in court is destructive to the future co-parenting relationship. That means a process focused on successful co-parenting – like the Collaborative process – is often nicer and kinder by definition. It would be inaccurate to expect, however, that divorce is going to be easy in any process. The difficult emotions related to the end of a marriage and the transition of a family will still be present. Don’t choose the Collaborative process because you believe it will eliminate the possibility that your spouse will be hurt or angry. Those emotions will still be present, but will likely be addressed and dealt with in a more direct and effective way using expertise of the experienced and trained team members.
Your choice of a divorce process has a big impact on the tone and outcome. Collaborative divorce offers some beneficial options that do not exist in traditional litigation. To learn more visit www.collaborative-divorce.org.