Take a moment to watch this video. Imagine that you’re like the baby elephant caught in the fast moving waters of a ravine. That stream is your marriage: steadfastly moving in a direction that you do not intend to go, at a speed that’s capable of dragging you down with the current and causing you irreparable injury. It even has the potential of injuring others if you have children who get dragged down with you.
The best way to ameliorate existing cuts and bruises, is to get out of the stream as soon as possible. A collaborative divorce attorney can help you do that. And because the collaborative process takes both spouses’ interests into account, you wouldn’t be the only person to avoid an unfortunate ending. After all, if you have children, you will co-parent with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. There’s no point in “winning” at the expense of the father or mother of your children.
Interests Driven Collaboration
Let’s say one of your priorities is to keep the marital home. More often than not, there are meaningful reasons behind such request but, in most divorces, no one asks that question: Do you want your kids to remain in the same school district? Do you need space for your home office? Is the housing market down, so you want to wait until selling it makes more sense?
In a collaborative divorce, you outline why you want a specific outcome, so that your attorney can work towards safeguarding those interests: If you don’t get to keep the house, maybe you can work out new living arrangements within the same school district. You would also have a financial advisor examining existing assets and proposing ways to maximize any monies you would be entitled to receive. You could even request a mental health professional to join the team, if you believe doing so would make the process easier to handle. The key element is teamwork, instead of the acrimony that usually accompanies a divorce process.
Going to court is never fun; especially when it concerns private, family issues. Talk to a collaborative divorce attorney about your options. She will help you get out of the deep end.
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About this week’s authors: Joryn Jenkins.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, 2 of which she served as professor in law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership to The American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.