This is the eighth post of a serialization of Janet P. Brumley's book, Divorce Without Disaster. This post is Chapter 1, part 6 of the book.
Once you understand collaborative law and appreciate what it can accomplish, it's important to determine if you will benefit from a divorce using this process. Collaborative law is a worthwhile alternative for divorcing couples who want to speak to each other after the divorce. It is for those who want no negative baggage left with the other side once the divorce is final. The process is especially sound for anyone with children.
But collaborative law is not appropriate in every case. It usually doesn't work if there has been a history of domestic violence in the marriage. In those cases, the victim is often emotionally battered and unable to be in the same room with the abuser and think clearly at the same time. Also, the abuser knows subtle ways of conveying terror in the victim that go unrecognized by the attorneys for both parties.
Collaborative law should be viewed skeptically in marriages where either party has an untreated or unacknowledged substance abuse or mental problem. People under the influence may make agreements they don't understand and never intend to honor. Collaborative law requires two whole, thinking persons who are capable of stepping out-side their anger and hurt, and acting rationally.
That does not mean angry or hurt people cannot employ collaborative law. On the contrary, almost every divorcing person is angry and hurt.
The collaborative process is conflict resolution, not conflict-free resolution. But it requires the ability and willingness to value other things more than revenge, such as the well-being of children, the continued ability to co-parent or the ability to see the ex-spouse in the workplace or socially without rancor.
Effective Collaborative Law Participants:
... want to protect everything - children, relationships,money, time and privacy.... tend to be intelligent and educated, and have a higher-than-average emotional IQ.... want a divorce that is "tailor-made" for their circumstances, not an "off-the-rack," ill-fitting form used by everyone (and fitting no one very well).... want results more than revenge.... want to be participants - not victims - in the dissolution of the marriage.... want to assure themselves that nothing happens unless they agree to it.... want some control over the scheduling of events of divorce.... want to retain some dignity through the process of divorce.... want to end the relationship as positively as possible.... see the big picture.
Divorce Without Disaster - Collaborative Law - About the Author
Divorce Without Disaster - Collaborative Law - Introduction
Divorce Without Disaster - What Is Collaborative Law and Why Use It?
Divorce Without Disaster - Choices of How to End the Marriage
Divorce Without Disaster - A Closer Look at Collaborative Law
Divorce Without Disaster - Collaborative Law Can Save Everything
Divorce Without Disaster - Human Behavior Key to Collaborative Law