As a Collaboratively trained attorney, I am always pleased to see good coverage of Collaborative Divorce in the media. I firmly believe that if more people learned that Collaborative Divorce was an option, we’d have many more families not just surviving post-divorce, but thriving. I also really appreciate hearing other people talk about the Collaborative process and I believe my readers do too.
A recent broadcast on NBC News Today illuminated the benefits of Collaborative Divorce and presented a few good reminders. Attorney Joryn Jenkins who practices Collaborative divorce in Tampa, Florida made the following points:
- People are often unaware that they have options—they think litigation is the only one.
- Collaborative Divorce allows couples to resolve divorce matters with more dignity and respect—it’s a kinder, gentler divorce.
- There are significant differences in the costs between Collaborative Divorce and litigation. Often, litigation can cost upwards of $100,000, while Collaborative Divorce is closer to $32,000.
- It typically takes 3-4 months for a Collaborative resolution vs. up to 3 years for litigation. And, in litigation, the clients have very little control over the timing of things—that’s up to the courts.
- Collaborative Divorce also provides participants with greater privacy—which can help protect financial assets and the family. This does not mean that participants withhold information from each other, but it does mean that the family can maintain their privacy more easily and have more control over who manages the logistics of their divorce.
Finally, Jenkins sums up what is in my mind, one of the most positive and little-known benefits of Collaborative Divorce:
"The rewards of collaborative divorce are huge. You learn to work out issues and say things in a better way."
Collaborative Divorce gives participants tools for the future that can help them build on the foundation they established when pursuing a resolution that focuses on long-term sustainability of a family, beyond the circumstances of divorce.
If you take the time to read this story for yourself, make sure you also watch the brief interview, embedded in the article, with Nicole Baras Feuer and Francine Baras who wrote the book “37 Things I Wish I’d Known Before My Divorce.”
They provide strong tips and insight that would help anyone who is faced with divorce find a healthier way of navigating its challenges, including:
- Most people face divorce without any knowledge of what they are getting into. It’s important to find the support and guidance you need to help you manage the things you are not prepared to feel or experience.
- If there are children involved it’s best to tell them together and reassure them that it’s not their fault and the family will go on.
- Finances should be something that both partners in a marriage have an understanding of—whether divorce is on the horizon or not.
- Waiting for an apology from your divorcing spouse is not productive, instead, the focus should be on practicing forgiveness.
We’ll talk more in the future about the kind of situations in which Collaborative Divorce is ideal.