In recent weeks we have begun discussing the collaborative divorce process.  If you missed the previous installments in this series, you can find them here, here and here.  If the collaborative divorce method is so different from the traditional adversarial divorce, what are some things the parties should expect in a collaborative divorce?  The following three major items represent a fundamental mindset shift for the parties going through a collaborative divorce.

Attack Problems, Not Each Other.

It is fairly common for the parties in a collaborative divorce to be seated beside each other during joint meetings. In a traditional divorce the parties are fighting against each other, but the challenges of a life after divorce are really standing before both parties, right?  Doesn’t it make sense that the spouses face the challenges together?  In the collaborative divorce process, together the parties face issues like possession and access of the children, dividing the assets, and deciding who takes debt.  In this way, the parties can achieve win/win decisions rather than one party winning and the other party losing.

Forward-Looking, Not a Rear View Mirror

The collaborative divorce process is FORWARD-looking while traditional divorce is based on historical behavior of the parties.  In a collaborative divorce, the parties focus on planning for the future rather than dwelling in the past. The parties work together to solve problems and to maintain the relationship between them and the children while in a typical divorce, the proceedings can easily devolve into mudslinging between the two parties with each hoping to make the other look worse!  This is a toxic situation especially when children are involved.  How can it benefit the children to embarrass and humiliate the other parent?  The mudslinging is avoided entirely in the collaborative divorce process because the parties focus on dealing with solutions, not revenge.

Friends and Family Won’t Understand

The parties should expect that no one in their circle of friends and family will have any experience with collaborative divorce.  Consequently advice from friends and family won’t apply.  While the collaborative divorce process is gaining momentum in Texas, it is still relatively new.  As a result, all of your friends and family will try to give you advice based on their experiences with traditional divorce, and such advice won’t apply to your situation.  While there are numerous problems with free advice from family, some of which I have addressed here, the biggest problem with their input in your collaborative divorce is they don’t understand how this process works.  In their experience with divorce, the whole divorce is characterized by anger, fear, revenge, resentment, and pain.  Your experience will likely be significantly different because you won’t be fighting against your spouse; you’ll be fighting alongside your spouse so together you can conquer the property division, child support, child custody, and more.  Your friends won’t understand this at all.

Youngblood Law, PLLC is a Fort Worth, Texas family law firm that uses a holistic approach to help people get on with their new life by getting done with their old life.  We proudly offer the collaborative divorce process for our clients.   #beforeyournext make sure this spouse is your ex! This essay is intended for educational use only, and is not a replacement for competent legal counsel.  If you are facing a family law matter, we recommend obtaining competent legal counsel like Youngblood Law, PLLC.  For more information, contact us at 817-601-5345, find us on the web at www.youngblood-law.com, or on your mobile device, open your browser and type in lawfw.biz and press Go.

Paul Youngblood #beforeyournext #lawfw #youngbloodlaw #singleforjinglejingle #collaborativedivorce #beingdivorceddoesntsuck