Dealing with divorce is extremely challenging, particularly for children. This is one of the reasons why a collaborative approach is recommended to help children cope with divorce.
Like any form of collaboration, a collaborative divorce requires cooperation from both husband and wife. Having agreed to split and legally end the marriage, the couple works together (with their respective attorneys) to reach a settlement that will be beneficial to both of them, and for the children.
Only once they have reached an agreement is the petition for divorce filed with the court. This avoids potentially messy and unpleasant litigation in court, with both parties fighting openly for what they do and do not want. Sometimes this is the only way, but it is particularly hard on children who are often forced to take sides with one or other parent.
Advantages of Collaborative Divorce for Children
Collaborative divorce aims to provide an amicable (or at least civil) process. It may not be an easy process, but by doing it this way the family can draw on the support of professionals who remain neutral and non-judgmental. Every couple’s needs are different, but typically these professionals might include therapists, child specialists, financial advisors, and possibly also mediators who intervene when there are disputes and help to achieve an agreement (or series of agreements) that will benefit everyone in the family.
Because the couple reaches agreement before the divorce action is filed there is no fighting in court. Since there are very few people who can remain unaffected emotionally by the experience of litigation – especially in the case of divorce – this will inevitably help the children cope more easily because stress is minimized for all involved. Also, the very nature of collaborative divorce means that the couple must work together rather than against one another.
Another big advantage is that the couple gets to decide their own fate instead of leaving it to a judge to decide. In contested divorce cases the couple fights it out in court and the judge decides what is best for the family. Even with the best will in the world, an outsider can’t know what is the best solution. That person can only take the facts presented and then make a legally sound, educated guess based on legal argument – which, by its very nature pits the requirements of the two parties against one another.
The costs associated with divorce may also be lowered substantially because there isn’t a fight in court. Both parties are responsible for their own attorney’s fees as well as court costs and the fees charged by any professionals enlisted to help reach closure. But this seldom exceeds the usually high costs associated with traditional litigation in a divorce court.
Why You Need a Collaborative Divorce Attorney
While collaborative divorce involves agreement, this cannot be achieved without legal representation. Collaborative divorce attorneys don’t make decisions in terms of what should be agreed. Rather, they become advisors in terms of legalities and they ensure that their client’s rights are protected in terms of the law. They also promote respect and honesty and help to facilitate communication.
If you need a good collaborative attorney in Georgia who cares, contact the professional team at Waggoner Hastings Family & Collaborative Law to set up an appointment. We can help you make divorce as painless as possible for you and your children.