If you’re considering divorce, one thing delaying your decision may be your children. Many couples stay together for their kids, even if that means a tense house full of fighting. While divorce isn’t “good for the kids,” it doesn’t have to be bad for them, either.
Despite the many challenges, many parents are choosing collaborative divorce over litigious divorce. Quite simply, it can be better for the kids. Collaborative divorce has a “family-first” approach – every decision is made after first thinking about how it will impact the family. When parents choose to divorce, the collaborative process requires them to work through the divorce together and this often keeps the kids out of the fighting.
Why is Collaborative Divorce Better for the Kids?
Collaborative divorce requires parents to trust each other and communicate openly during their divorce. Good communication can lead to better conversations with the kids. When parents are amicable during a divorce, it’s better for everyone involved.
While fighting is common in traditional divorce, the collaborative process doesn’t position anyone as a winner or loser. The goal is to come to a mutually agreeable outcome that’s in the best interest of the family going forward.
Collaborative divorce is about helping a family move on together during a divorce, and kids need to know that. Even though their living situation will likely change, their parents will continue to love and support them.
How Collaborative Divorce Benefits the Family
Focusing on the future benefits both spouses during a collaborative divorce. It also comes with other advantages over a litigious divorce.
- It focuses on your family. By keeping a family-first approach during conversations, it will be easier to brainstorm solutions that are mutually agreeable. If you get stuck, ask yourself what’s best for your children.
- It can be faster. Collaborative divorce can take as long as you need. A litigious divorce can drag on for years. The average collaborative divorce takes about a quarter of the usual time.
- It can be cheaper. The average collaborative divorce can cost less than court litigation. One of the biggest savings occurs when couples are transparent about financial and property information. Additionally, couples who communicate effectively don’t waste time (or money) arguing back and forth.
- You can customize your divorce. You may want to pay more or less child support than your state requires, and that can be okay. Collaborative divorce is open to creative solutions.
- It can be private. Unpleasant or personal details may come up during your divorce. With a courtroom divorce, that becomes public information. On the other hand, with collaborative divorce, your case won’t show up in public records, since it’s handled out of court.
- You may feel better later. A litigious divorce, full of fighting, can take its toll on your mental and emotional health. A warfare mentality in court can cause pain that lasts forever. On the other hand, the family-oriented approach of collaborative divorce allows you to start your future with the right mindset.
How Collaborative Divorce Can Be Good for the Kids
There are rules to be learned during a collaborative divorce, like “no bashing.” You can’t insult your spouse in front of the kids. It’s never productive and hurts your children.
You and your family can gain some good life lessons during a collaborative divorce:
- A united parental unit reassures your children they are safe and have stability.
- Adaptability is a good quality. When they help create their new lifestyles, children adjust to change much better.
- Allowing your children to express themselves and share their feelings can create a more open environment.
- Positive language is a skill. Words that build-up, rather than tear-down, can benefit you during your divorce and after.
Are you ready for a divorce, but concerned about the effects on your kids? Contact the professionals at Best Legal Choices to learn about the collaborative process and how it can help your children during a divorce.
Michelle was born and raised in Indiana, where she developed a strong will and a deep love of learning. When tragedy struck close to her through the suicide of a close friend who felt powerless, Michelle was moved by a desire for justice and fairness for people who are powerless.