For most people, friendly is not the first term that comes to mind when thinking about divorce. However, there are many benefits to keeping friendliness an option when deciding how to handle the process of divorce. Collaborative divorces are completed outside of the courthouse and center on the idea of remaining friendly during the divorce and afterward.
1. Friendly divorce can save you money
The more you and your spouse can agree upon during the divorce process, the less you will incur in legal fees. If you can sit down and work out the minor details such as deciding who will keep the couch and who gets the favorite kitchen pan, you can avoid paying lawyers to work out those details on your behalf.
In collaborative divorce the team of professionals working on your case can help you set the tone of friendliness and teamwork right from the beginning.
2. Friendly divorce can help you keep extended family relationships intact
One of the greatest losses in divorce can be the relationship you have with your spouse’s extended family members. It could be a favorite holiday tradition; or sitting together at the children’s yearly dance recital. Being less adversarial in the divorce process can help prevent families from feeling the need to take sides.
In collaborative divorce the coaches will help you and your spouse create an intention statement that focuses on your hopes for the future of your relationship. This can include maintaining extended family relationships and traditions.
3. Remaining friendly with your spouse during and after divorce is beneficial to your children.
Concerns about the effect of divorce on the children is likely at the forefront of your mind. You can avoid putting your children in the middle by focusing on remaining respectful and dedicated to positive co-parenting.
In daily life there are many opportunities to foster friendliness with the other parent. One way to do this is to be flexible with each other when special occasions come up. Adjusting the exchange time to accommodate a baseball game or a visit with an out of town friend is a small way that you as parents can maintain a friendly relationship with each other and your children. Because what the children will remember was that their parents were thoughtful and wanted to do what was best for the children, not just what was written on the custody agreement.
Taking a creative approach to divorce in general, and parenting time in particular, makes collaborative divorce a great way to be friends post separation. Although you and your spouse may have a lot of difficult emotions to work through, you can lean on the divorce coaches and the team to help you both maintain your dignity throughout the divorce process.