When parents divorce, the effect on their children is usually the biggest worry and there’s good reason for that concern, because the short and long-term effects can be devastating. On the other hand, when the process goes smoothly, divorce can pave the way for a more enjoyable home life and have a very positive outcome.
The relationship between the parents during and after divorce is the biggest factor influencing the effect the divorce has on their children. When divorce involves collaboration and cooperation, children are not immersed in conflict. This type of approach also avoids the animosity that can quickly destroy any semblance of civility between parents. Parents who truly want to put their children first should consider a collaborative approach to divorce.
How This Approach is Different
The traditional method of divorce pits the divorcing spouses—led by their attorneys—in a pitched battle to win each point in ongoing war over issues like who gets custody and who gets to stay in the family home. Attorneys often try to make the other party look bad so the judge will rule in their client’s favor. This is bound to lead to anger and strife, and even a desire to strike back in some way.
A collaborative divorce process operates from an entirely different perspective. Both spouses should still have a legal advisor who can explain their rights and help them obtain their objectives. But instead of fighting for supremacy, the couple works together to develop divorce terms they can both live with. They work with a spirit of cooperation rather than contention.
Mediation and Other Methods
In some cases, a couple may choose to work with a neutral mediator who helps them find mutually agreeable solutions. A mediator does not issue decisions the way a judge would. Instead, the mediator helps the couple make their own decisions about a wide range of issues. Sometimes couples can resolve all the issues in one session, but in other cases, they meet with the mediator for two or more sessions to develop a written agreement specifying the terms of their divorce.
Divorcing couples can also work with collaborative divorce attorneys who negotiate together to develop agreements on the terms of the divorce. Regardless of the method, when couples commit to a collaborative approach and resolve their differences through negotiation in the conference room rather than litigation in a courtroom, they can save considerable time and money. But the biggest benefit is that the reduction in anger, privacy, and cooperative approach reduces the painful impacts on children.
While the children will still have to come to grips with the fact that their parents will never be a married couple together again, they also see their parents continuing to treat each other with respect, and that helps the healing process.
Talk to Your Divorce Attorney to See Whether a Collaborative Divorce is Right for Your Situation
While collaborative divorce puts children first and preserves relationships, it does not work for every divorcing couple. When one party refuses to cooperate, it can be very difficult to negotiate solutions. However, a skilled attorney may be able to negotiate an agreement on at least some of the issues, leaving fewer matters to be fought over in court.
Talk to the experienced team at Koiles Family Law Group to find out how a collaborative approach could work in your circumstances.
Contact us today at 978-744-7774 to schedule your consultation.