When most people go through divorce, they are consumed by their emotions. No matter how you look at it, divorce is a trauma. However, people oftentimes forget how the divorce is affecting children. And they forget that children are keenly aware of how parents treat one another during divorce.
A video that has been going around the internet lately shows a little girl talking to her mom about how she wants her divorcing parents to be friends and treat each other well. You can find the video after the jump.
The way you go about divorce can have a tremendous impact on your relationship with your co-parent.
The traditional courtroom divorce is part of an adversarial system that pits husband versus wife, mother versus father. Litigants make arguments, submit evidence, and bring in expert witnesses to prove that they are a good parent and the opposing party is a bad parent.
And the children get caught in the middle.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to the traditional courtroom divorce. One of the fastest growing alternatives is collaborative divorce, where attorneys are retained for the sole purpose of reaching an out-of-court agreement. No money, time, or energy is wasted on opposition research, arguments, or trial preparation.
Collaborative attorneys are, in fact, contractually prohibited from helping the parties engage in contested court hearings, and the attorneys must be fired if negotiations breakdown. Accordingly, unlike trial attorneys, collaborative attorneys have no incentive to encourage fighting between parents.
A neutral facilitator, who usually has a counseling background, is oftentimes brought in to help the parents focus on what is most important to them (such as their children) rather than on the arguments of the past. The facilitator can also help parents learn communication skills and develop a parenting plan that is personally tailored to the children’s emotional and developmental needs.
If you are going through divorce, your relationship with your co-parent will change. But, you can engage in a process, the collaborative process, which will give you the best chance of having a positive relationship even after your marriage is dissolved.
If you want to learn more about how the collaborative process can help your family, schedule a consultation with Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm at (813) 443-0615 or CLICK HERE to fill out our contact form.
Adam B. Cordover is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator, Collaborative Attorney, and Collaborative Trainer. Adam is past president of Next Generation Divorce, Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.