We know it can be difficult to talk to a spouse about divorce in general, but add in the task of trying to interest them in learning about collaborative divorce, and it probably feels like climbing Mt. Everest. So we put together the following steps and hope they can be helpful.

  1. Admit you are scared about what the process of divorce does to people. You want to find a way to get through it so that everybody’s protected and ends up okay; you don’t have to become bitter enemies.
  2. Explain that you have been researching and looking for the best way to get a legal separation done without having to go to court.
  3. Say that you found (or were referred to) a legal process called Collaborative Divorce. It appears that the process is a way to avoid drama, mudslinging and lingering bitterness. It still means each of you has a lawyer working for you to protect what matters most to each of you and to your futures. It’s surprising, but it is a law and the courts allow you to divorce this way.
  4. Ask whether he or she would be willing to look at the following website to learn more about it as well, and ask if he or she will be willing to at least talk with a lawyer at one of the law firms listed on the website.
  5. Acknowledge that it might be hard for him or her to trust you or your motives right now, but for your own sakes and – if you have children – for your children’s sakes, encourage your spouse to look into it. You all are going to have the shared responsibility for raising your children together for years to come. It’d be so wonderful for the children if you were able to get along at events like their graduations and weddings. You don’t want the children to dread those types of events. If you don’t have children, there is still value in avoiding the mudslinging and protracted negotiations a typical process entails.
  6. Point out that from what you’ve learned, you each will have more say in this type of process, over both the timing and the cost.
  7. Clarify that while you each have your own attorneys, these attorneys will look out for you without trying to tear down or insult or degrade the other person. The attorneys will help you all figure out all the property issues, how to deal with expenses, and the parenting plan.

If you have a specific question about your situation or for a friend or family member, please do not hesitate to contact us.