Your marriage is over. After years of trying to make it work, you and your spouse made the heartbreaking decision to divorce. Despite this decision, you still love and respect each other. You are also committed to co-parenting and doing whatever is necessary to minimize the harmful effects that divorce may inflict upon your young children.

As you contemplate divorce, the idea of going to court and having a judge make decisions that will affect your family for years to come is terrifying. You and your spouse decide that a collaborative divorce is an attractive alternative to the traditional divorce process. Your decision is largely driven by your children and your commitment to avoiding the conflict and disputes that you know often come with divorce.

You’re not alone in your decision. Many parents in California are turning to collaborative divorce to resolve child custody, asset division and support issues. The following are just some of the benefits of choosing collaboration over litigation:

  1. You have more control: The collaborative process allows you and your ex to come together with your respective attorneys in a positive environment to discuss how you want your lives to be post-divorce. You are given the opportunity to express what you want and to devise customized plans and agreements. Collaborative divorce focuses on what’s best for the whole family. Parents play an active role in the process and are therefore more committed to following the terms of final agreements. 
  2. You pave the way for future better communications: Because open communication is key to the success of the collaborative process, you and your ex learn how to negotiate and set aside your own needs and wants to do what’s best for your kids. Because you both play an integral role in tailoring a custody or visitation agreement that suits your family’s needs, your post-divorce relationship starts off on a positive note.
  3. You save time and money: Going through a divorce is stressful for many reasons, including the tremendous amount of time and financial resources the process requires. Alternatively, with a collaborative practice, it normally takes less time and money to resolve divorce and custody issues. This means that you and your ex will be able to move forward with your lives and be spared the added time and expenses that can breed feelings of mistrust and resentment.

While there are many benefits to this process, you need to determine if it is the best process for your situation. Review all of your options and get experienced collaborative divorce counsel before making a decision.