If you and your ex know you need to divorce, the fact that your marriage is effectively over might be one of the few details on which you currently agree. It is quite common for those preparing for divorce to have a very emotional response to the impending end of their marriage.
You may find yourself disagreeing on every little matter. Although you talked about an amicable divorce, the chances of securing an uncontested divorce in your current situation may seem incredibly small.
Thankfully, there are solutions available for those who would prefer to minimize the conflict in their divorce but who don’t yet agree with one another on what would be fair or appropriate for their family. A collaborative divorce could be the exact solution that couples in this situation require.
What is a collaborative divorce?
Most divorces are adversarial proceedings. The spouses are at odds with one another and will battle in court if necessary to secure a fair outcome. The issues with this approach are obvious.
You may fight for things you barely care about as a way to hurt or punish the other. You could set your sights on unachievable goals and waste thousands of dollars on litigation costs. You will also potentially do long-lasting damage to your relationship with your ex.
Collaborative divorce requires that the two of you work with one another instead of fighting against each other. When successful, collaborative divorces tend to be faster and cheaper. The average cost for divorce is thousands of dollars, but an uncontested filing is usually far more affordable than a litigated divorce.
Beyond the financial impact of conflict, there is the emotional effect of the divorce to consider. Especially if you have children, minimizing how much anger each of you experiences toward the other and how much conflict your family witnesses could be beneficial as you move forward with your divorce.
How do collaborative divorces work?
You and your ex could potentially sit down with one another and your lawyers to talk directly about specific unresolved issues.
If you feel like a face-to-face negotiation would be too difficult, you could discuss your priorities and concerns with your lawyer. They could then communicate directly with your spouse’s attorney. Once the lawyers have reached negotiations that they believe are appropriate, you and your ex could then review and approve those terms, all without ever needing to sit down with one another.
In cases where spouses really struggle to work with one another, mediation might be a useful tool to facilitate the collaborative divorce process. Understanding why more people every year consider a collaborative divorce instead of litigated divorce could help you use the best tools possible in your upcoming marital dissolution.