If you’re considering a divorce and you haven’t heard of collaborative divorce, it’s time to learn more about your options. Collaborative divorce can provide families with a less combative approach to dissolving a marriage. This is especially beneficial when a divorcing couple has children and will need to coparent once the divorce is finalized. Because collaborative divorce uses a team of professionals who work together to problem solve and plan, it can better help divorcing partners prepare for their futures post-divorce, especially when it comes to coparenting, their finances, and their individual well-being.
Being a parent isn’t an easy task under the best of circumstances. It’s an entirely new challenge when one must learn to coparent and to help one’s children get their footing post-divorce.
If desired, a child specialist can be a part of your collaborative divorce team. This individual is specially trained in child development and serves as a voice for the children in your divorce. In addition, they can help you and your coparent learn new communication skills so you can share necessary information and ease the stress of divorce for your children.
Every divorce that involves children in Florida will require a parenting plan. This in-depth document covers everything from parental responsibility to who makes medical decisions. To create an effective parenting plan that has provisions for the future, a child specialist can be an invaluable resource. While both parents will create the plan together, a child specialist can offer ideas that will help parents consider their children’s development and future needs (and wants).
Learning to coparent effectively can be hard when there are already communication difficulties because of the end of a relationship. Ultimately, a new relationship must be formed. During the collaborative process, parents will learn to set boundaries, to communicate in a better way, and to ensure that they are keeping their children’s best interest in mind. What a coparenting relationship looks like will vary from family to family, however, the most important things is that there is a coparenting relationship and that parents are both supporting and encouraging their children.
During a collaborative divorce, the divorcing couple shares a financial neutral who works on both of their behalfs. This differs from a traditional litigated divorce where each party may hire their own financial expert to argue for their own best interests.
The role of the financial neutral is to help the two parties create a financial agreement that meets their needs and considers both parties’ best interests. Often, this goes beyond equal distribution, which isn’t always the fairest way to split assets or debts. A financial neutral will consider the divorcing couple’s assets and debts, their ability to generate income, their budgets post-divorce, and their plans for the future. They can provide feedback regarding budgets and financial matters such as taxes that may be incurred because of real estate sales. The financial neutral may offer ideas, however, it is up to the divorcing parties to determine what will work best for them. This allows for more creative problem solving and helps each individual consider their future more realistically.
Finances can be a stressful topic under the best of circumstances. In many relationships, one partner is more aware of the couple’s finances and investments than the other. This can create trust issues and lead to confusion and uncertainty when the less financially aware partner must start considering how they will sustain themselves post-divorce. A financial neutral serves as an educator for both parties and helps explain finances so everyone is on the same foot.
In a typical divorce, learning how to deal with one’s finances once the court judgements have been handed down can be a real shock. The planning process that is integral to collaborative divorce eases some of that stress and provides a great jumping off point for participants. The saying “knowledge is power” definitely comes into play here as having both parties sharing financial information provides them with the power they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their children moving forward.
Divorcing couples that will need to sell a family home may find that a divorce real estate professional can help them achieve their goals while keeping their situation in mind.
Divorce can be trying, even when there is no fighting. The termination of a relationship that one believed would last forever can leave a person with self-doubt, misgivings, and lots of questions.
A traditional divorce does not include any mental health professionals unless a judge sees the need to appoint one. In contrast, in a collaborative divorce, a mental health professional often plays the role of the divorce coach, helping to keep the divorce process moving forward in a positive way. The process can be sped up or slowed down as necessary to ensure that both parties are in a position to partake in the decision-making process as equals. A divorce coach may help participants bring to light issues and create a safe space for discussing problems. In addition, because of their connection to the mental health community, they may be able to recommend resources to help either party during or after the divorce.
Collaborative Divorce Resources
Collaborative divorce has been around for a while, however, only legal professionals who have undergone special training may assist their clients through this process. This means that many people never learn that they have this option until it’s too late. Speaking to a Tampa divorce lawyer who is versed in different divorce processes, including collaborative divorce, can help ensure that you select the type of divorce that will be most beneficial to you and your family.
As your learning more about collaborative divorce, feel free to look over these resources:
- What is Collaborative Divorce?
- How Do You Know if Collaborative Divorce is the Right Choice for Your Family?
- Collaborative Divorce: The Role of the Divorce Coach
- Collaborative Divorce: The Role of the Financial Neutral
- Collaborative Divorce Roles: The Child Specialist
- Collaborative Divorce Roles: The Divorce Real Estate Professional
- Why Co-Parenting Matters
- Learning to Co-Parent After a Divorce
- Should You Get a Therapist While Divorcing?
Divorce shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. By utilizing the collaborative divorce process, you ensure that how you separate reflects you and your goals while allowing you to prepare for the future. Collaborative divorce takes into consideration the couple and everyone’s needs and wants. Its focus on working together can be transformative.
For families, a divorce is more than just the termination of a marriage—it’s the start of forming two households, two homes in which to rear children. This can be trying under the best of circumstances. The collaborative process aims to make this easier by providing the tools and expertise necessary to help new coparents as they embark on their post-divorce journeys.
It’s important to note that a collaborative divorce is not appropriate for all couples. In situations where domestic violence or substance abuse are present, another divorce approach may be more appropriate. To learn more about the different divorce options that are available to you, speak to a Tampa divorce attorney today. A skilled divorce lawyer will carefully explain the various types of divorce so you can determine what may work best for your situation.