Sunday, December 1, 2019

Proceed With Caution

Sometimes people going through a Collaborative divorce will start to discuss things and negotiate directly with their spouse outside of Collaborative meetings.

Usually, if the topic is something like what time to pick up or return the kids on a special occasion, that's appropriate and it may be necessary.

On the other hand, some people may begin pushing their spouse to negotiate directly, without the attorneys or other professionals, and that can cause problems.  Realistically, the parties are in the Collaborative process because they can't just sit at a kitchen table and work things out.

In spite of past differences, people sometimes drift into direct negotiations. It could be to save money, save time or because things are just going very well at the moment. Other times, it may be a result of a conscious or unconscious desire to control or dominate the partner.

There are several reasons to Proceed with Caution: 

  • Things could go badly and damage to the negotiations can occur. The good relationship could quickly disappear.
  • Someone might be pushed into a bad decision without the advice of counsel.
  • One or both parties may be overlooking legal concerns or options that are available.
  • One or both parties may be acting on a mistaken idea of the law.
  • Money may be spent or assets disposed of which could disadvantage one or both of the parties.
Keep in mind that the Collaborative attorneys and other professionals have a more objective viewpoint than you and your spouse do. The attorneys and professionals also have knowledge of the law and usually the experience of having handled at least hundreds of cases.

For the best outcome, please be patient and stay in communication with your attorney before you start negotiating on your own.