It is the start of a new year and a new decade. After reflecting on past experiences, people have identified the changes they want to make going forward. Many decide to start a new chapter of their lives and to some, this means ending their marriage.
Divorce is never an easy decision to make especially if it involves children.
Some parents delay getting a divorce because they want to avoid hurting their children. However, remaining in an unhappy marriage and constantly arguing is not healthy for anyone in the family.
Parents often want my guidance on how to talk to their children about their plans to divorce. My recommendation is always for both parents to talk to their children together and deliver a clear and consistent message (developmentally appropriate).
Talking about divorce plans can be one of the most difficult conversations a family has. For a child, hearing the news that their family is changing is painful.
Unfortunately, children often get caught in the middle of two fueling parents. This can be traumatic for children and increases risks of both physical and mental health effects that are long term.
When most people think of divorce, they think of attorneys pitting couples against each other, fighting over money, the house, and of course the kids.
- Divorce did not have to be this terrible?
- Couples were supported through this process by professionals who worked as a team?
- Professionals involved took the time to consider the well being of the family as a whole?
- Children were heard and parenting plans were developed considering their feelings and desires?
Guess what? This is possible and there is such a thing. It is called Collaborative Divorce.
The Collaborative Divorce Process involves:
- Two attorneys, one for each spouse that have been specially trained to work together respectfully,
- A mental health professional that serves as a facilitator for the process to help everyone involved to effectively communicate and focus on the needs of the children,
- A financial professional either a CPA or financial planner who is neutral and helps the couple negotiate a fair agreement based on the information gathered from both spouses.
- In some cases, a Child Specialist, a mental health professional that specializes in child development, serves as the voice of the child and helps develop the parenting plan.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce:
- Family Friendly
- Non-Adversarial, Less Conflict, Less Stressful
- Confidential and Private, by avoiding court personal and financial information will not be available to the public.
- Transparent & Honest
- Creative, ability to customize financial and parenting plans based on the needs of each family.
- More Efficient and Faster Than Litigation (traditional divorce)
- Typically Less Expensive Than Litigation
- Better Closure
The Research Committee of The Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals found that in:
- 86% of collaborative cases all the issues were resolved successfully
- 34% of collaborative cases were resolved in less than 3 months
- 66% were resolved in less than 6 months
If you have decided to divorce or are in the middle of a divorce, please consider a Collaborative Divorce. Ask your current attorney for information or consult with an attorney that is specially trained in the collaborative approach.
If you and your spouse would like more information on how to support your child during the divorce process Contact Me.