Is an amicable divorce possible? If so, how is it done?
Many want to have an amicable divorce but worry about how to talk about financial concerns, how to file for divorce and how to parent children without starting World War III. Couples are used to arguing about finances and often feel they get stuck in unproductive arguments and that they can’t communicate.
Here are five things that can help. They are all available in a Collaborative Divorce process:
1. Individual Communications Coaches
In the Collaborative Divorce process each partner/spouse has support from a Collaborative Coach. In coaching meetings you are allowed to vent and sort out feelings and learn to cope with fears and resentment. The coaches help you prepare for meetings with your spouse/partner. Help you identify triggers and how to cope with the stress of meetings. The coach also guides you in thinking about what is most important to you in the process and how to deliver this information in a meeting to make sure you are heard.
2. Joint Coaching meetings
The coaches prepare each partner/spouse for meeting together and then guide you and your partner/spouse in more productive conversations that are difficult to have on your own. The coaches follow agendas to help you know what topics need to be discussed in each meeting. They help you create joint agreements about cooperating, being transparent, and following communication guidelines. The coaches then help you maintain your vision of following these agreements and guidelines during the process of making difficulty decisions about your home, family resources, and children.
3. A Financial Neutral
The financial neutral in a Collaborative Divorce gathers the information about all your combined assets, debts and income which is a necessary step in the divorce process. The neutral keeps track of the documents that need to be received to give a full financial picture of the family. In addition, the financial neutral guides you in creating budgets for your households. This is an important and necessary part of the process in order to determine how income is shared and bills paid during and after the divorce. The financial neutral in a Collaborative Divorce is trained in mediation as well as the requirements for disclosure of finances during the divorce. It is a weighty topic, however having a financial neutral asking for and organizing the data of the family is much more practical and peaceful than having to nag each other for the information needed.
4. Non-Adversarial Attorneys
What? Don’t I need a powerful shark to get what I want in the divorce? If you want an amicable divorce you want attorneys trained in working for both of you while making sure each of your individual rights are protected. Collaborative attorneys are trained in collaborating! They educate you both on your rights and responsibilities during the process. Collaborative attorneys converse with each other and meet with you and your partner/spouse in order to understand the best way to divorce without becoming enemies. Their goals are to avoid strategies that make you feel like you are against each other – this is really a waste of time and money for anyone! Instead they help you find solutions that meet each of your needs. This is key, because couples that can’t communicate, argue about everything, and hire adversarial attorneys are never really at peace. Usually it’s because of the lengthy and bitter divorce that resulted in losing too much of precious family resources and stirring up negative emotions.
5. A Child Specialist
Ok, if you don’t have children, you don’t need this service. If you have children then the Child Specialist can guide you in how to talk to the children about the divorce, how to protect them from conflict between the parents and how to develop a parenting plan that meet the children’s needs. The Child Specialist meets with the children and helps you understand how they are coping with the changes in the family. The Child Specialist is also trained in mediation and Collaborative Divorce and can helps you keep the children’s needs in focus as you are making decisions in the divorce process. The Child Specialist can also meet with young adults in the family who may need support and their voice to be considered as parents make decisions to divorce.
How do all these services sound? If you are divorcing or even thinking about separating, many collaboratively trained professionals are available to support you. Click here more information about services in Silicon Valley at and click here for Collaborative Practice groups in all over California. The divorce path is not easy, but there is help to get you through the process!