A Good Choice Collaborative Divorce

We know from long experience that only collaborative divorce — not old-style adversarial legal representation, and not a single mediator working with or without lawyers in the picture — views divorce as a complex experience requiring advice and counsel from multiple perspectives if it is to be navigated well. Collaborative divorce prepares you to deal with the emotional challenges and changes associated with divorce and provides the resources that can best help you make a healthy transition from married to single.

Collaborative divorce builds in important protections for children, too. It informs you fully about how your children are experiencing the divorce and what they need to weather the big changes in their family structure without harm. It helps protect your future relationship with your spouse by informing both of you fully — together, at the same time — about the financial realities of your marriage and divorce in a way that eliminates pointless arguments about economic issues. It also teaches you and your spouse new ways of problem solving and conflict resolution so that you develop useful skills for addressing your differences more constructively in the future. Further, collaborative divorce

Helps you clarify your individual and shared values and priorities Helps you and your spouse reach maximum consensus Includes complete advice about the law without using legal rights as the sole template for negotiation and resolution Helps you and your spouse resolve serious differences creatively and without destructive conflict Helps parents improve their ability to coparent after divorce Builds in agreements about resolution of future differences after the divorce is over Focuses not only on resolving past differences but also on planning for healthy responses to current challenges and on laying a strong foundation for the future after the divorce is over Aims toward deep resolution, not shallow peace Why You Do Not Want an “Old-Style Divorce”

We’re confident that, like the people we work with every day, you want to protect yourself and your loved ones from the havoc that an old-style divorce can wreak in your lives. Let’s summarize the facts you now know about old-style divorce:

It is based on the centuries-old belief that divorce is wrong and abnormal It seeks to find fault and mete out punishment It focuses on the past It is premised on conflict It is constrained by an arbitrary legal framework intended to resolve matters of right and wrong by the exchange of money It aims at a deal, not deep resolution It fails to take into account current understandings of how people are wired, what they need in times of change, what children need during and after divorce, and how families change and restructure What’s more, we know that old-style divorce is bad for individuals, families, and communities because

It’s expensive It’s hurtful and damaging It’s “one size fits all” It deems irrelevant many common concerns that are extremely important to most people because judges can’t issue enforceable orders about them It focuses on the past It encourages unrealistic expectations on the part of both spouses about what should happen in the divorce It resolves disputes through competing predictions of what a judge would do rather than focusing on what you and your partner can agree on It won’t provide essential help to you or those you care about The emotional and social costs are incalculable Luckily, we live in an era when there is finally a better option — one that can end a marriage without destroying a family or setting into motion negative effects that can bedevil family members for a lifetime.