The idea of a collaborative divorce appeals to many people. Instead of an adversarial approach in which spouses battle each other in pursuit of certain terms, spouses agree to cooperate with one another. Collaborative divorce often begins with spouses signing a document committing to continue their cooperation until they settle all major issues for their divorce. When spouses successfully collaborate, they maintain control over the terms set for their divorce. They keep most of their marital issues private and may even be able to keep the total cost of the divorce process lower.
That may at first seem counterintuitive, as there are many professionals typically involved in collaborative divorce efforts. Spouses may find that bringing in those professionals leads to a faster and more effective solution or disputed matters and therefore a more amicable final solution for the divorce.
A lawyer trained in collaborative divorce
It is almost always necessary for each spouse to have their own separate legal representation during divorce proceedings. That way, each spouse has a professional looking out for their best interests. The collaborative professional, on the other hand, primarily serves to help facilitate cooperation and negotiations. Working with a neutral lawyer in addition to the attorneys advocating for the individual spouses can help with the collaborative divorce process.
A financial specialist
The more resources married couples have acquired throughout their marriages and the higher the standard of living they enjoy, the more likely they are to have challenges related to dividing their marital property and handling marital debts. A neutral financial professional, such as an accountant, can help with the analysis of the marital estate. Their input may lead to people setting terms that they ultimately feel are more appropriate.
A child advocate
Parents sometimes become so focused on their own feelings during divorce negotiations that they have a hard time maintaining clarity regarding the needs of their children. A neutral child advocate who does not have pre-existing connections with either parent can speak up on behalf of the children and help ensure that the adults in the family put together a parenting plan that meets the needs of their children.
Any professional support that makes it easier for spouses to cooperate with each other may ultimately help facilitate a lower-conflict and healthier divorce. Understanding the type of help necessary to successfully collaborate during divorce negotiations may benefit those looking to employ a lower-conflict approach.