Monday, October 1, 2018

What to do If Your Spouse Suggests a Collaborative Divorce

If you are suddenly faced with a request for a divorce and your spouse wants to use Collaborative Law, what should you do?

Since  you are reading this, you are obviously researching the topic and that's good.  It helps to have a little knowledge about the process to help you make decisions. 

Here are some suggestions to consider. 

1.  Remain calm.  You may have been thinking about divorce or discussing it. Although some spouses can hide their planning, it is rarely a total surprise.  There usually are problems that are obvious. As difficult as divorce can be, life afterwards can be a major improvement in many ways.

2. It's going to happen.  Keep in mind that if one person in a marriage wants a divorce, it will ultimately happen. You can slow it down, but you can't stop it.

3. Get counseling. Divorce is never easy. Seeing a counselor for a while can be a big help. Check with friends, associates and especially lawyers to find a counselor who can help. Try out one or more counselors to find someone you are comfortable with.

4.  Look into Collaborative Law.  If your spouse already wants to try it, you are lucky! In most cases, it is a much better process for many reasons.  You can get information from several sources:  blogs like this, web sites, YouTube videos, Facebook pages and different organizations, such as Collaborative Divorce Texas, and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. In addition, there are local practice groups, which are small groups of Collaborative professionals who work together in certain geographic areas.

5.  Hire an experienced Collaborative attorney.  Find out how many Collaborative cases the attorney has handled.  In Texas, you can ask if the attorney has been credentialed by Collaborative Divorce Texas.  They award "Credentialed" and "Master Credentialed" designations which are earned by having handled a significant number of Collaborative cases and being recommended by other Collaborative professionals, among other things.  In addition, make sure there is a good chemistry between you and the attorney so you can work well together.

If you are facing divorce, whether you like it or not, Collaborative Law is the way to go in many cases. It is less stressful, more efficient and leads to more creative solutions that can work for either party,  For your best experience, follow these steps.