If you and your spouse have decided to separate, you may be dreading the legal process. From dividing your financial and physical assets to determining child custody or visitation schedules, a judge may have the final say on crucial decisions if your divorce goes to court.
However, if you and your future ex can agree to focus on trying to move forward amicably, collaborative divorce may offer a less stressful, less expensive and more flexible alternative to litigation.
What is collaborative divorce?
During a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse each have the benefit of your legal counsel. However, both sides agree to work together to negotiate issues ranging from deciding what to do with the family home to settling how you will split parenting time with your children.
You may also meet with neutral, third-party advisors who can help guide your decisions. Financial planners, divorce coaches and child therapists may help you to find a path forward that is realistic, fair and truly meets the unique needs of your family.
What are the potential benefits of collaborative divorce?
The collaborative process may give you and your future ex the time and space you need to discuss your concerns, desires and needs in a low-pressure, private setting. Collaboration benefits may include:
- Keeping the focus on resolving conflicts amicably
- Shielding children from emotional stress
- Maintaining control of your divorce’s outcomes
- Finding creative solutions to specific issues
Collaborative divorce is not for everyone. The process takes patience, communication and a willingness to compromise on some issues. However, if you can both at least agree to try to work through conflicts and stay focused on the future, avoiding a legal battle may help you and your children to navigate a difficult time with less acrimony, anxiety and expense.