“Bitter adversaries” is the presumed default setting for American divorce, yet many couples harbor no particular resentment toward each other when their marriage ends and would prefer to dissolve their union without rancor. Collaborative divorce offers couples the opportunity to end their marriage on their own terms and in their own way without adversarial litigation. While collaborative divorce is not the right choice for every couple contemplating divorce, it does offer separating couples a kinder, gentler alternative to traditional litigation and greater control over the dissolution of their marital, family and financial relationships.
A cooperative, non-litigious divorce process, collaborative divorce dispenses with the usual confrontational “blame game” to focus on the development of respectful communication and negotiation skills that can help divorcing spouses successfully navigate the strong emotions that accompany separation and more quickly and confidently move forward into the next stage of life. Collaborative divorce is a particularly effective choice for couples with children. By shifting the emphasis from the demands of the adults to the needs of the children, collaborative divorce creates a foundation for effective post-divorce co-parenting. Ensuring that both parents will be welcome to fully participate in their children’s post-divorce lives decreases the damaging stress, insecurity and loss suffered by children when their parents divorce.
You and your spouse may be good candidates for collaborative divorce if:
- You are both willing to commit to separating your affairs with respect for each other.
- You are both willing to give the needs of each family member fair and equal consideration.
- You are both willing to cooperate and compromise to resolve differences.
- You are both open to exploring creative solutions to divisive issues.
- You are both willing to put the needs of your children ahead of your own.
- You both want to retain control over the decisions that will affect your future rather than leaving them in the hands of the court.