May 11, 2009

Collaborative Divorce: How to Get Your Spouse Involved

collaborative divorce

As family law attorneys around Palm Beach County have found, many potential clients are enthusiastic about the concept of collaborative divorce. They see the advantages of spending less money and time than they would in using other methods for reaching resolution of separation and divorce problems.

Collaborative Divorce 

They are excited about producing an agreement better suited to their family’s own unique needs in a less stressful environment than traditional adversarial litigation. Nevertheless, many clients often are at a loss as to how to convince their spouse to engage in the collaborative process.

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The following are some hints and suggestions that my office has passed on to clients in the past:

  1. Talk with your spouse to determine if there is a shared commitment to a collaborative win‑win conflict resolution. Let your spouse know that you are determined to behave in a respectful, ethical manner and want to ensure that both of you engage in a process that permits you to do so; that you believe you and your spouse value a negotiated solution that meets your needs now and in the future rather than putting those decisions in the hands of an uninterested judge; and that you believe both of you should commit your energy towards creative problem solving rather than blaming and revenge that may occur in the heat of a combat of a contested divorce;
  2. Prepare an information packet about the collaborative process to share with your spouse. Sometimes the written word is more convincing than a conversation. If you have contacted a collaborative divorce attorney, they may have materials for you to use;
  3. You may be able to obtain the aid of your marriage counselor or your children’s counselor. If the counselor is educated and can speak knowledgably about the collaborative approach to divorce, then that mental health professional may be able to convince your spouse to engage in a collaborative divorce or separation;
  4. Provide your spouse with a list of websites that discuss and/or offer collaborative divorcing services. One such website exists for the International Association of Collaborative Professionals at www.collaborativepractice.com ;
  5. Invite your spouse to call and talk to a collaborative divorce lawyer or coach. You may be able to provide your spouse websites for your local area which identify attorneys and other related professionals who are educated and trained in the collaborative process of divorce. If you have selected a collaborative attorney, then he or she may be willing to send an introductory letter and information packet to your spouse; and
  6. Consider asking a close family member or friend to discuss the positive benefits of a collaborative approach to divorce with your spouse. Individuals whom your spouse trusts may be able to offer sufficient encouragement for your husband or wife to try this very rewarding alternative.

You never know what combination of the above may be enough to convince a reluctant spouse to become an enthusiastic participant in a collaborative process. Your future, your children’s future, and a civil continuing relationship with your spouse are the rewards that you may gain from engaging in a collaborative process. Those rewards certainly are worth an additional effort to convince your significant other that the rewards of being creative far outweigh any fears or hesitations either one of you may feel in engaging in a collaborative aproach to divorce.

 

Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss divorce in Florida, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A.The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. or call 561-478-0312.

 

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