As the name suggests, collaborative divorce requires collaboration, the act of working together to complete a task or achieve a goal. If your spouse does not want to get divorced, achieving a collaborative divorce may be difficult, but if you both have the same goal (getting divorced), collaboration may be possible – even if you do not agree on everything.
Education is the best tool to get your spouse on board with a collaborative divorce. Many people reject the idea of collaboration because they do not understand what it entails. Getting a collaborative divorce simply means working together in a prescribed, safe, and effective process to reach an agreeable settlement – instead of going to court.
Even if your spouse wants to fight, chances are they do not want to start a legal war they have little control over, nor deal with the costs of going to war. Collaborative divorce allows each party to represent their interests on their own terms. Here are four tips to consider for when you want to collaborate in a divorce, but your spouse wants to go to war.
1) Ask Your Spouse to Consider Collaborative Divorce
Your spouse may seem like they are on the warpath, but you never know what they will agree to unless you ask. If you want to initiate your divorce, start talking about collaborative divorce as soon possible. Let them know that the decision was painful for you, too, and that you want to end your marriage without causing either of you any additional harm.
If you have children together, emphasize that you want to stay on good terms for their sake. Divorce is traumatic for children, and collaborative divorce can help keep the process calmer and less aggressive. Collaborative divorce is the best tool parents can use to help their children navigate through the transition in their families.
Spouses who initiate divorce may be more open to collaborative divorce – unless they are angry with you. If this is the case, empathize, apologize, and politely ask your spouse to set their anger aside during the divorce proceedings. Appeal to their rational side and explain that collaborative divorce can save everyone time and money.
2) Educate Your Spouse
If your spouse is on the fence about collaborative divorce, send them a link to help them understand it. You can also pick up a book on collaborative divorce and gift it to your spouse. If your spouse wants to fight because they are hurt or angry with you, this gesture could also serve as a peace offering.
You may be interested in collaborative divorce because you know someone who has gone through it. If this is the case, ask the person you know to talk to your spouse about the benefits of collaborative divorce. Their experience and advice may help convince your spouse.
3) Work With a Third Party to Assist
The end of a marriage is painful for everyone, and marriage counseling can be helpful even after a couple has called it quits. Your spouse may be more likely to consider collaborative divorce if the idea is presented in a therapeutic environment. A counselor can also help each spouse let go of anger that no longer serves them and begin the healing process.
You may even resolve some of the issues that will come up in your divorce in your counseling sessions.
4) Hire the Right Attorney that Offers Collaborative Law
If you are considering collaborative divorce, but your spouse wants to go to war, choose an attorney who can represent you no matter what happens. At Myres & Associates PLLC, we handle collaborative divorce, traditional, high-conflict divorce, and everything in between. It’s important that you find an attorney that offers collaborative law as an alternative to traditional litigation tools.
We understand that collaborative divorce may not be an option for every couple, and we will work together to find the solution that is best for you and your family.
Our team is experienced in and out of the courtroom, and our managing partner, Susan Myres, has over 40 years of divorce litigation experience. We will do our best to help you and your spouse achieve an amicable settlement out of court, but if additional litigation is needed, we will not hesitate to step up and protect your best interests.
For a legal team that cares about your family as much as you do, call us at (713) 322-9810 or contact us online.