Collaborative Divorce Explained

Collaborative divorce is a relatively new term to most people, and many people still employ the use of lawyers when it comes to choosing collaborative divorce as a healthful option. However, the basis of collaborative divorce consists of both parties agreeing to resolve their conflicts collectively, using cooperation and understanding, rather than arguing and dividing assets, etc. The idea of collaborative divorce is to be ‘okay’ with negotiation, and accept it, rather than make demands and hold on tightly to a stubborn nature.

An experienced therapist can also help with collaborative divorce – maybe not so much on the litigation and dividing of assets, but when it comes to the overall attitude of the divorce itself. It can be especially helpful to seek a therapist if there are children involved. But ultimately, giving yourself to the idea of collaborative divorce can be a healthy way to deal with the entire process.

What To Expect With Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative coaching can include:

Negotiation to reach a mutual settlement, without having to go to court
Maintaining open communication and sharing of information
Creating shared solutions for the highest priorities

While there is no one ‘perfect’ option for everyone going through a divorce, many couples who choose to have a collaborative divorce can find peace in this no-court process. Instead of discomfort and destruction, collaborative divorce can be calm and constructive.

Is Collaborative Divorce For Me?

If you’re having to struggle with the idea of divorce, and wonder if this process may be a more comfortable solution for you, as a couple, consider the following in making your decision:

Do both of you want to maintain a level of respect and understanding?
Do you want to put the needs of your children first?
Do you want to maintain control of the divorce with your spouse, rather than delegating it to the court system?
Can you behave respectfully and ethically toward your spouse?
Do you feel as though the needs of you and your spouse deserve equal recognition?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, collaborative divorce may be a suitable option to help both of you deal with this uncomfortable, emotional time. A neutral collaborative divorce coach can be a neutral piece for both parties to work together, teaching communication skills and working as a support system to help manage stress, anger, and other emotionally-charged issues. Divorce can be an unfortunate process to deal with, no matter what. However, through collaborative divorce, it doesn’t have to be such an ‘ugly’ process.

For couples therapy Pasadena, Donna Shanahan is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.