Going through a divorce is almost always a stressful event, even when both parties agree that a divorce is in their best interest. At Gaydos Duffer P.C., we do all we can to lessen the anger and frustration often felt by the parties by encouraging them to participate in a collaborative divorce. This is particularly important when the couple has children, and they need to work together to create an effective parenting plan.
Parenting Decisions: Collaborative Divorce Versus Traditional Divorce
In a traditional divorce, parents essentially give the family law court the power to make important decisions regarding their children. The court decides which parent will be the primary caregiver, which parent will have time with the children on holidays from school, what time the children will be picked up and returned to the custodial parent for visitation, and many other parental-type decisions.
That process essentially teaches the parents that they cannot directly communicate. It does not teach them how to deal with each other in the years to follow. It does not give them the skills they need to effectively co-parent without continuous court interference.
In a collaborative divorce, each party agrees to meet with their attorneys and a trained neutral communication facilitator who guides their discussions. The facilitator does not tell them what to do but helps keep their communication meaningful as they work together to create a mutually acceptable parenting plan.
The collaborative divorce process gives the parents the tools they need in order to create their own parenting plan. They decide together how they will parent their children, where the children will live as their primary residence, how to make important childcare decisions together, and how to make these decisions by talking with each other.
Some are surprised at how well they are able to come up with mutually acceptable solutions. It is helpful to their life-long relationship as parents to avoid court interference in their lives. The co-parenting may look like a business relationship or, in some cases, an actual friendship. Whichever way it turns out, it definitely reduces animosity between the parents and allows the children to grow and prosper in an environment fairly free of parental hostility.