How Post-Divorce Relationships Can Benefit From The Collaborative Process
When going through a divorce, most people simply want it to be over. They are often dealing with a range of painful emotions from feelings of betrayal and sadness to anger. It’s hard to imagine the future and especially what they’re post-divorce relationship might be like. Many people have reported that when they are going through divorce it feels like their lives are on hold, and when it’s finally over, it feels like they can finally breathe again. The last thing people want to hear is that when it’s over, it’s probably not really over.
But for divorced spouses with young children, there are shared obligations that will continue for years.
Circumstances change and children grow and as they do issues will arise that may not be covered by the divorce agreement. Family events, school and extracurricular activities will eventually conflict with parenting schedules. These issues can be a source of ongoing anxiety and post-divorce conflict for the parents and children.
Nearly half of all couples who have gone through a traditional litigated divorce will return to family law court at some point to resolve post-divorce conflicts. In the traditional adversarial process, there are typically a winner and a loser. That is simply the nature of the traditional divorce court system. But the severing of a marriage involves more than just the legal issues. Marriage is certainly more than a piece of paper. It is a complex tapestry of two lives interwoven together. It involves parts of people’s lives that are highly emotional. In most cases when it’s all over. one of the parties is typically not satisfied with the outcome. And this often leads to lingering bitterness and hostility.
When disagreement arises in the future over circumstances or issues that have not been resolved by the divorce agreement, the parties are likely to end up back in family court. For those who have gone through an adversarial traditional divorce, going to court to resolve their disputes is all they know.
Collaborative Divorce Can Minimize Post-Divorce Conflicts
Fortunately, it doesn’t always have to be like that. Post-divorce conflict is much less common among those who have used the collaborative process. Instead of focusing on blame, the collaborative process puts the focus on the final outcome. It reduces conflict, fosters open communication and helps to establish a certain level of mutual trust for the benefit of the children. And with the help and guidance of their individual lawyers, couples are able to take personal responsibility for determining what is in the best interest of all parties and how they can work together to create solutions.
Naturally, couples that have had success with the collaborative process are more likely to maintain a respectful and cooperative post-divorce relationship. They’ve experienced a better way to divorce and in the process learned other ways of resolving the disputed issues. With their self-respect and dignity intact, when future issues do arise they have the tools and experience to work together to find creative solutions.