Divorce doesn't have to be acrimonious. In other words - it doesn't have to be a horrible experience.
But divorces are always contentious, right?
No. It is possible to go through a divorce without drawing swords and dueling to the death over who gets the family piano.
Divorces are easier when they are collaborative
A collaborative divorce is one where both parties agree to negotiate, try to meet in the middle and reach an agreement that is good for everyone involved. It's possible to get there with a skilled negotiator guiding the process.
Collaborative divorces are better for families with children
A divorce is the dissolving of the family unit as it stands today. When kids are involved, a divorce will dissolve the current family unit to allow for a new family dynamic to emerge. Parents will continue to co-parent after the divorce and that means sharing in important decisions like where a child should go to school and if (or when) they get braces. But it also means sharing in decision make about the friends that they spend time with, what summer camp they should go to, and who sends in the pictures for the yearbook. Co-parenting is intensive and ongoing. When the divorce process causes additional pain or burns bridges, that becomes incredibly difficult.
Working with a divorce and family lawyer who can negotiate a settlement makes it more likely that both parties will feel okay after the divorce is over and be able to see each other (and co-parent) without feelings of animosity and contempt.
You may get more of what you want in a collaborative divorce
What many people don't realize is that going to court for a divorce is a gamble. You don't know what the end result will be. You may get more of what you want, but the judge may issue a final order that you don't agree with. In a negotiated divorce you have the ability to go back and forth on issues that are important to you and have more control over the final outcome.
Is a collaborative or negotiated divorce right for me?
It's important to consider your options carefully when getting a divorce. We recommend speaking with a lawyer to discuss your situation so that you have all of the facts before you when considering whether to pursue a collaborative divorce or go to court.