Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce reduces the trauma of divorce.

1. The kids – If you have children, far and away the most important aspect of Collaborative Divorce is that it reduces trauma for the children (and for the divorcing couple). Because Collaborative Divorce utilizes a team of specialists, a licensed Mental Health Professional (known as a Divorce Coach or Child Specialist) is available to you. The Divorce Coach/Child Specialist has expertise in the area of child development. Their job is to help you create an effective and durable parenting plan that takes into account the developmental needs of the children, as well as the needs of the parents. The child specialist also talks with the children thereby giving them “a voice” in the divorce process. Very often, in litigated divorces the children’s thoughts, feelings and perceived needs are not taken into account. In Collaborative Divorce, the needs of the children are paramount.

2. Two financially secure homes – very often one or both of the individuals are worried about whether there will be enough money for them to live comfortably after the divorce and into the future. To address this concern, Collaborative Divorce utilizes Financial Professionals who analyze your finances and provide solutions to either get you out of debt or maximize the couple’s shared assets. They help the couple understand what their financial picture will look like subsequent to the divorce as well as providing visual aids and graphs projecting the financial resources available one year, 5 years, 10 years and even 20 years or more into the future. The result is to substantially decrease the anxiety about finances and make sure there are two financially secure homes after the divorce and in the future.

3. Cost savings – often people erroneously believe that because Collaborative Divorce utilizes a “team” of professionals it will be more costly. In truth the average Collaborative Divorce is roughly half the cost of the average litigated divorce. This is so because using Financial Professionals and Mental Health Professionals streamlines the process of divorce allowing each of the experts to do what they do best.

4. Keeping control of the process – when you go to court the judge, who has very little familiarity with your life or your needs, makes decisions for you. These decisions will impact your life and the lives of your children for many years to come. In Collaborative Divorce you retain control of the process and the results because you craft the agreements (with the help of the Collaborative Team). The result is greater satisfaction with the outcome of the divorce process.

5. Privacy – Collaborative Divorce allows the family to stay out of court and retain their privacy. This reduces trauma, anxiety and sometimes feelings of humiliation. In a litigated divorce your “dirty laundry” is on view and often used as a weapon against you by the opposing counsel. In Collaborative Divorce your privacy is maintained. Only things that are directly relevant or “material” to the divorce process are discussed.

6. Convenience – in litigated divorce the court decides when your case is heard. There is no accommodation to your busy schedule. In Collaborative Divorce the couple decides the timing, frequency and location of the meetings. This allows for greater convenience, less lost income due to taking off work and once again reduced emotional trauma.

7. Results you and your children can have live with – because you, along with the help of the Collaborative Team, craft the agreements and the Parenting Plan together the resulting agreements are always ones you can live with because you created them. The satisfaction rate is therefore much higher than in a litigated divorce. Also, if changes are necessary there is never a need to threaten to go to court because one of the benefits of Collaborative Divorce is that the team can be reconvened whenever necessary to help you make changes due to unexpected occurrences in your life circumstances.

If you need assistance with any portion of the divorce process, from legal assistance, mental health, or financial advice, please feel free to call the Collaborative Divorce Center at 757-819-7739 now.

For additional information on Collaborative Divorce, go to www.collaborativedivorcecenterva.com or lawrencerossphd.com

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The Collaborative Divorce Center of Coastal Virginia serves clients throughout Virginia, including those in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News, Suffolk, Hampton and surrounding areas.

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