How to bring up collaborative divorce as an option
Written by Dr. D.J. Gaughan

How to bring up collaborative divorce as an option

Date:

The topic of divorce is difficult for most couples. You may experience a back-and-forth dialogue about divorce for a period of time. One of you may be opposed even though both of you acknowledge almost equal amounts of pain.

Why You Should Bring Up Collaborative Divorce

Divorces can be initiated through mediation, litigation, DIY (do-it-yourself), and now, collaboration. Each divorce model has its merits and drawbacks, but collaborative divorce can be the most family-oriented method. Your choice to bring up collaborative divorce for you and your partner often makes sense as the best short-term and long-term option.

DIY

Even if you’re the independent type who likes to do your own taxes, a DIY divorce is risky at best. Not only will you have to research Arizona law, you’ll have to manage court filings and appointments. Things like pensions, health insurance, and retirement accounts are just a few detail items DIYers overlook. You may hit some snags later which will require professional help to untangle, often at a significant expense. Hurrying through a DIY divorce often means you have to spend more time and money correcting your mistakes later.

Mediation

Mediation is a much better process “than a War of the Roses-type brawl,” says lifehacker.com. But it isn’t at the top of a best-ways-to-divorce list. A mediated divorce requires you both be in a comfortable, confident place with yourselves and each other. If you can’t stick up for yourself and your rights, you may make decisions you’ll regret. If your communication was bad before, how will that change?

Litigation

Consider digging up every negative piece of information you can find about your spouse (knowing that they’re doing the same thing about you) and then paying attorneys to air all of that dirty laundry. Public mudslinging is just one aspect of a litigated divorce. Court appearances are financially and emotionally draining. Even if you settle out of court, you may spend significant amounts of money on two attorneys arguing about who gets Aunt Sheila’s salt shakers and how to distribute the pottery collection.

While each of these options may have their benefits in your situation, the collaborative process may be the best way to go for you and your family. Bringing it up may be difficult, especially since it’s so new to Arizona.

How to Bring Up Collaborative Divorce

Set the stage for uninterrupted, quiet time when you bring up collaborative divorce to your partner. Present the positives to them in an ordered list and explain how collaborative divorce may be the best option for both of you. Here are 6 items you can include in your collaborative divorce presentation:

  1. A collaborative divorce focuses on our family. We may not be together, but our family will never cease to exist. That’s what we both want our the kids to understand and that’s the drive behind a collaborative divorce.
  2. Collaborative divorce can be more affordable. Instead of wasting time with me calling my attorney with questions, my attorney calling your attorney with questions, your attorney calling you with questions… There’s no back-and-forth process. You and I will define our priorities. The attorneys will ensure we’re each legally protected.
  3. The respect we have for each other will set the standard for our conversations and decision-making. A collaborative divorce can help us stop arguing and blaming; we can focus on solutions. A collaborative divorce can help us get off the emotional roller coaster and prepare for us both to be secure and successful after our divorce.
  4. We take the time we need. There’s no hard-and-fast agenda for our collaborative divorce. In a litigious divorce, that flexibility could cost more money. In collaboration, we’ll be working together “in good faith.”
  5. With a collaborative divorce we – not the attorneys – have the conversations and make the decisions. A communications specialist can help get us beyond our conversation stoppers and blaming. A neutral financial professional can make sure we understand how our choices will affect our future.
  6. A “regular” divorce often involves going to court, and all court filings are public record. Collaborative divorce is a private process. Our employers/employees, friends and families won’t know about it until we feel the time is right.

Is it Time to Bring Up Collaborative Divorce?

When it’s time for you to bring up Collaborative Divorce, contact Best Legal Choices. We offer professional legal, financial, and communication guidance as part of your collaborative divorce. We understand Arizona family law and Arizona divorce law. Call or contact us to discuss your options.