With a litigation-based divorce, two attorneys are often the only professionals involved. This type of divorce can be expensive, contentious and exhausting. Rather than the spouses working together toward a common goal of resolution, the attorneys handle a majority of the communication and negotiation. This may prevent the couple from learning how to communicate directly and effectively in their new, post-divorce roles. In litigious divorces, couples with children often carry that inability to communicate into the future and struggle to make co-parenting decisions for many years. Nobody “wins.”
Collaborative Divorce Professionals Help You Structure Your Divorce
There are very few cookie-cutter divorces. A collaborative divorce is one where you’ll be communicating throughout the process and making the best decisions for you and your family. A collaborative divorce can include the services of three types of collaborative professionals. Because your divorce may have child-related, religious, financial, or other challenges, your collaborative divorce professionals can guide you to a conclusion that feels more like a “win-win” for everyone.
Collaborative divorce professionals will encourage transparency in every step of the process. For example, there can be no asset-hiding or failure to disclose important information. Your divorce goals center around a genuine need to protect your children and to promote a “new and improved” life for everyone involved.
Your collaborative divorce professionals may include:
- Communications specialist
- A Financial neutral
Collaborative Divorce Attorneys
One misunderstanding about the collaborative divorce model is that greater good is sometimes more important than individual protection. But, that is not true. Each spouse has his/her own collaborative divorce attorney. The attorney’s role in a collaborative divorce is less about “advocating” and more about advising and guiding their client through the legal aspects of the divorce. There may need to be a compromise in any negotiated settlement, even in a collaborative divorce, but each attorney can ensure that all legal questions are answered and all formalities are met so there is less potential for future problems.
No-Fear Communications are Critical in Collaborative Divorce
A communications specialist/coach not only helps you connect more effectively during the divorce, but they provide you with skills and tools to successfully shape future conversations you may have with your ex-partner. Your communications coach will help you focus on your strengths, individually and as a couple.
Litigious divorces often do not prioritize the family unit. Nothing can change the reality that your separation and divorce are difficult. But with communications coaching, your unity as a family can become your focus. Learning to communicate with each other, with the help of collaborative divorce professionals, can help take the negative emotions out of the divorce discussions. They will help you to leave emotional baggage where it belongs – in the past. You can then free yourself so you can live in the present and plan for the future.
Money Talks: Financial-Neutral Guidance
The discovery and disclosure phase in a litigated divorce can be expensive, time-consuming, and contentious. Although the attorneys typically manage this exchange of information in a traditional divorce, the collaborative process provides a different way for you to participate in this process. By allowing a collaboratively-trained neutral financial professional to oversee and coordinate this process, you’ll learn to work through the information together. The neutral financial professional can help you navigate the maze of your financial situation as it is today and help you to identify the issues that will allow you to focus on financial planning for your future.
There are several common financial mistakes made during divorce which your neutral financial expert can help you avoid. In the collaborative process, the neutral financial professional will help you to examine your future financial realities. Will there be new child care expenses? What are some of the tax changes you may be facing? How can you divide assets in a way to maximize the benefits to both spouses? They will help you to answer these questions and more.
Divorce Solutions for Families
Collaborative divorce professionals focus on problem-solving and outcomes. Rather than wasting time with emotional bashing and blaming, they’ll encourage you to seek solutions to divorce challenges. Are you ready to learn about a different divorce method? Collaborative divorces are family-focused and private. Call or contact the collaborative divorce professionals at Best Legal Choices today.
Judy Morse has been helping families resolve their questions about parenting time, legal decision making, and their finances and assets with her Collaborative Practice since 2006. The founder of Judith A. Morse, P.C., now known as Morse Law Group, Judith A. Morse has been practicing law for more than 32 years.