You’ve made one of the hardest decisions of your life. You tried to suffer through it, tried to work it out, even did some last-ditch marital counseling. You wanted to keep the family together for the kids. You didn’t want to bail.
When you got into this marriage you certainly didn’t see this coming. But somewhere along the way, the hurts piled up too high. The communication dissolved and now there is a gap between you that seems impossible to bridge.
But you’re scared. Because divorce seems to bring with it hostility, conflict, court hearings and custody battles. The financial aspects are confusing, and everyone winds up so scared they’ll be financially hurt in the divorce that it leads to never-ending fights about who will get which asset. As a therapist who works with kids and parents, I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve helped kids try to get over the fact that their parents screamed over who would get the kitchen table and who would get the chairs.
Overview of a typical divorce: both parties hire attorneys whose job it is to make sure their client gets as much as they can out of a divorce. This can lead to ongoing litigation (think court), mounting attorneys fees, custody battles and soaring conflict – which (by the way) can take years to overcome.
Overview of a Collaborative Divorce: both spouses hire lawyers specially trained in Collaborative Divorce. A neutral divorce coach and neutral financial advisor are brought onto the team. All team members (both spouses, attorneys, coaches, and financial professionals) meet to develop a plan for the divorce. This plan does not have to follow typical custody or financial arrangements. It is 100% tailored to your family and what will work best for you. It is built on the concept that divorce can be done well. It can be respectful and kind. It can benefit everyone. It can be a positive experience for the kids. It can set up your newly rearranged family to be successful for years to come.
Learn more about Collaborative Divorce.
About the author:
Katie Zuverink is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) living in Grand Rapids, MI. She is a certified Collaborative Divorce coach and is passionate about helping families who need help when things get tricky. She also loves working with women’s issues (anxiety, depression, balancing the life of being a woman in today’s world). For more on Katie, read her full bio.