There are too many benefits to Collaborative Divorce to list all of them here, but there are some general themes to the positive feedback we get from clients.
1. Decrease in Conflict. In a Collaborative Divorce each partner is not only represented, but also heard. The partners are a part of each and every decision, whether it is about the children, the finances, or the family home. Each Collaborative Divorce team is created to help all family members not only survive, but thrive. When divorcing partners are represented, heard, and respected, conflict decreases and the focus becomes finding solutions for all concerned.
2. Transparency. The agreement between parties to be “transparent” and forthcoming with each other regarding assets, parenting time plans, etc. allows parents and children to focus on healing from the divorce, rather than on fact-finding missions. This can save time, money, and heartache to all who are affected by your divorce.
3. Confidentiality. Since all agreements are made before any court appearance, the details of your divorce will not be shared in open court.
4. Focus on the Children’s Best Interests. In Collaborative Divorce, concerned parents can consult a Child Specialist regarding their concerns about their minor children. A Child Specialist is a Mental Health Professional familiar with child development, the effects of divorce on children, and coping techniques for children. A Child Specialist can help parents with how to talk to their children about a divorce, how to best address a child’s special needs, and how to develop a parenting-time plan that works for everybody in the family.
In Collaborative Divorce there is no need for children to testify.
5. Representation of Both Spouses Financial Interests. A Neutral Financial Specialist looks at short-range and long-term goals for both partners and can educate both of you as to your options. In addition, hiring one neutral financial expert is less expensive than hiring two financial experts.
6. Skill-building and Support in communications with your spouse. People often ask, “If I can’t get along with my partner in a marriage, how can I get along with my partner in a collaborative divorce?” In most Collaborative Divorce meetings you have the support and expertise of one or more professionals who are working to make sure you are heard and that your goals are addressed. In addition, each partner has a divorce coach who steps in if things get too heated, reminds you of your goals for that discussion, and models effective ways to communicate emotional topics.
7. Future Orientation. Rather than focusing on the past, Collaborative Divorce helps you work in the present, with an eye to the future. Families and situations change, and the Collaborative Divorce model takes that into account. Your team of professionals helps you define and meet your goals for the future: emotionally, financially, and in communicating with your partner. By focusing on the future and on restructuring your family, you help everyone concerned lay the groundwork for better days ahead.
8. Keeping your Inlaws. In many long-term marriages, one of the concerns is how to dissolve the marriage in such a way that you can maintain a good relationship with your in-laws. In Collaborative Divorce all meetings take place in an atmosphere of mutual respect, and communication skills between partners generally improve. When partners work together to create solutions rather than against each other, there is more opportunity for keeping positive relationships with in-laws.
9. Settlement Compliance. Every family is unique. In Collaborative Divorce you and your partner can make decisions that work best for your family. Because the decisions and plans are all made with your circumstances in mind, there is a better chance of everyone complying with the settlement.