More couples choosing collaborative divorce

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Property Division on Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

When it comes to divorce we tend to think of the two spouses who are in court battling over every piece of property the two ever owned together. However, for many divorcing couples this is not the way, and rather, more and more are turning to mediation and collaborative divorce.

With collaborative law each spouse has a lawyer and there is a neutral financial advisor. In some cases, there may also be a mental health professional. From there, each spouse sits down with their lawyer to talk through issues related to things like child custody and property division.

The idea is this process of sitting down and talking will result in a settlement being reached without having a bitter courtroom battle.

Many parents who choose the route of collaborative divorce also do so in order to attempt to lessen the impact on their children. And while this is one way to go about divorce that may be helpful, whether it’s through collaboration or a traditional divorce, there are other aspects to keep in mind to help children better cope:

Don’t use texts and emails to communicate. Too often there can be arguments over the misunderstanding of the message sent in a text or email. Rather, verbal communication is the best way to settle an issue.

Don’t say bad things about your ex. When it comes to an ex-wife or ex-husband, don’t badmouth the other in front of the children. Saying negative things about the other parent can in turn create unnecessary anxiety for children as they feel they need to choose a side.

When you mess up, admit it. We all make mistakes. However, if you have somehow handled a situation with an ex in a way that you are not particularly proud of, acknowledge to your children that you should have gone about the situation in a different way. Denying a mistake is never a good example.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Can your divorce be collaborative?” Jen Weigel, July 10, 2012

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