Most divorce clients come into the process of ending their marriage with a lot of fear and anxiety. These feelings are real. Worries about finances, the children and the uncertainty of what will happen are common. Recognizing that many clients have these feeling we wanted to share how we help our clients to deal with these feelings.
- Acknowledging those fears and anxieties – You are likely concerned about everything from how this is going to impact the children to how to deal with COVID-19 while sharing parenting time. Our first step is to recognize your concerns and let you know that is a normal part of the divorce process.
- Empowering you with information – We walk through each step of the process with you and let you know exactly what to expect. We will address your specific concerns and explain how to deal with issues such as minimizing the impact on children or how to properly address your future finances.
- Mediation, Litigation or Collaboration – We will help you to understand your options for handling the divorce. For example, Litigation is a process that leaves the final decisions up to a judge. Collaborative Divorce and Mediation are processes that allow you as the client to work with your soon-to-be-ex to make the final decisions.
How Does the Collaborative Divorce Process Work?
The Collaborative Divorce process is a team effort. Each party has an attorney and a mental health professional who serves as a communication coach during the process. There are a series of joint meetings designed to develop options for you and your spouse to consider. During these meetings, it is important to express yourself and your post-divorce concerns or fears. It is okay to express your emotions in these meetings, something that is not allowed in the courtroom. There are a few specific points about the Collaborative Divorce process that are important to understand.
- Effective Communication – Both spouses are encouraged to communicate in a way that each can understand and respond appropriately. A respectful dialogue is an important part of the process. A Collaborative Divorce empowers individuals to work through the process and gives you a voice. The communication coach plays an important role in making this happen.
- The Parenting Plan – One of the most important issues will be the children. Developing a parenting plan is part of the divorce process. Knowing that the needs of the children are being met can go a long way to easing tension. You can discuss your concerns regarding the children and then work together and with the collaborative team to develop a plan that is in the best interest of the kids.
- Financial Agreements – Both parties in a divorce often worry about being taken advantage of financially and not having enough money to live comfortably. A financial professional is a neutral third party that can help those going through a Collaborative Divorce. The financial professional will guide both parties through the process of collecting and organizing the financial information you need to gain a full understanding of the debts, assets, and all of the family income. After this information is gathered and brought back to the team there is an opportunity to develop a plan for how the estate will be divided and how income will be allocated.
The primary goal of any divorce is to find a resolution that works well for everyone involved. This will hopefully lessen the fear and help you to look forward to a new chapter in your life.