Working together – A collaborative approach to divorce

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Thursday, December 31, 2015.

When couples decide to end their marriage, there are a lot of issues to discuss. Sometimes those discussions can get pretty heated and the end result is a drawn out battle, higher legal fees and in the end, the judge makes the final decision. If that happens, many couples feel like they both were cheated out of what they wanted. Issues like these have the most negative impact when children are involved. However, what if there was an option where you and your ex could sit down and discuss your issues and come to an agreement on your own? Sounds pretty good, right?

Of course, if neither parent is willing to sit down and work together, this option probably isn’t feasible. However, deciding to use a mediator or collaborative divorce attorney, not only can save you money, it puts control back into your hands.

One of the tools that parents with children utilize during a collaborative divorce or mediation is called a parenting plan. A parenting plan allows both parents to work together to create a document that spells out topics like visitation schedules, religious expectations, punishments or even the appropriate ages for milestone events like getting a drivers license or ears pierced.  Also, if necessary, the help of a mental health professional who understands the emotional challenges of families undergoing divorce can also be enlisted.

A mental health professional will look at the age of the children, unique personalities and any developmental issues with the parents and compare it against what each parent envisions their life after marriage will look like. For example, will one or both parents have to move further away or work more hours? Also, will any of these changes impact how often the parent will be available for parenting time?

There are a lot of important decisions to be made during the divorce process, but by no means does  getting a divorce always mean leaving your future in the hands of a judge. If you are going through a divorce and would like to discuss what other options are available for your situation, take the time to speak with a divorce attorney who understands how mediation or a collaborative divorce could benefit you.

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