How will collaborative divorce affect my children?
In collaborative divorce or mediation, the spouses control what values are considered in a collaborative atmosphere. The thoughts, feelings, and experiences of both parties are listened to, all issues are addressed with respect in an atmosphere of dignity, with the goal of creating separate lives after divorce with the assistance of legal, financial and mental health professionals, as necessary. By avoiding court fights over property, parental rights and support issues, the parties can preserve a relatively amicable relationship, which is especially important where there are minor children.
In court divorce, the sad fact is that children are often damaged by the divorce in ways that parents do not even suspect. The children often become pawns in the parents’ fighting over child support payments and are pitted by one parent against the other to attempt to gain some advantage in the courtroom battles. By the end of a divorce court case, the parties are often more distrustful and hostile to each other than they were at the beginning. The prospect for good faith cooperation regarding future child rearing has been greatly diminished. Even if the case goes to trial, neither party gains any lasting satisfaction or vindication. What the court process produces is mainly stress and distraction from what is needed, the rebuilding of relationships.
By avoiding the courtroom battles that characterize divorce litigation, the spouses can work together to achieve a reasonable settlement that the whole family can live with. The interests of children are carefully considered as the parties work together to develop a co-parenting plan that will be most beneficial for all. The spouses are prepared for their new separate lives, developing a new relationship based on cooperation and good faith, and concern for the welfare of the children.
Because collaborative divorce encourages resolving issues and disputes are solved easier, it is advantageous to children. It lessens the chance for them to be dragged along ugly fights, bickering, and custody battles between parents.
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