For couples who are looking to divorce and are worried about the effect it could have on the kids, collaborative divorce may be an option worth exploring.
Collaborative divorce takes the process out of the courtroom and into a mediation or negotiation setting, where parties are not pitted against each other to determine a winner and loser. This attitude alone can be healthy for children who may be worried about having to take sides or choose a parent.
A collaborative divorce usually takes less time to complete – about 60 percent of cases are completed in eight months or less. A shorter divorce can be positive for the couple and the children.
Collaborative divorce also requires compromise, cooperation and mutual respect between parties. Showing your children that, even though the divorce is ending, you will continue to show each other respect can help them as they establish relationships in the future. It can also help their relationship with you, as children aren’t fond of parents badmouthing each other.
Bringing the divorce into a collaborative setting can also help parents determine an equitable shared custody model that benefits them and the children, and address any future issues of shared parenting time that could arise.
From a purely financial standpoint, collaborative divorce also tends to be less expensive, which can help you post-divorce as you tackle raising your children as a solo parent through joint or sole custody, even if you are receiving child support.
There are a lot of emotions surrounding divorce, and for many reasons a collaborative divorce is not the best route for everyone. But for many couples, particularly those with children, it can make the process a little less traumatic. The end of a marriage does not have to be the end of working as a team to build a life that is positive and meaningful for your children.