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Why I Believe in Collaborative Divorce

My journey in Collaborative Divorce started back in 2009. Before that, I had spent seven years immersed in litigation, witnessing firsthand the destructive impact it often had on families. This experience drove me to seek a better way, and that’s when I discovered Collaborative Divorce. What attracted me most was the needs and interest-based negotiation approach, which offers a profound alternative to the traditional adversarial divorce methods.

In a conventional divorce negotiation, the strategy often boils down to high-low, meet-in-the-middle, or intimidation tactics. However, in a needs and interest-based negotiation the focus is on understanding and addressing the underlying concerns of both parties. This method not only resolves the immediate issues but also lays a foundation for lasting peace and cooperation. It’s a paradigm shift from a combative stance to one where mutual respect and understanding take precedence, making a significant difference both during and after the divorce process.

Preserving Relationships

One of the goals of Collaborative Divorce is to preserve relationships in some positive form particularly when children are involved. Whether the children are infants or teenagers, divorced parents will need to co-parent, interact and communicate for years to come. From graduations to weddings, the collaborative process aims to ensure that you can both attend these events without causing your children undue stress or anxiety about potential conflicts.

Collaborative Divorce – Your Voice is Heard

Clients who have gone through the collaborative process often tell me how much they appreciate the opportunity to be equal participants. In this process, you and your spouse have a voice and a say in the outcomes. You are not at the mercy of a judge or other professional dictating terms. Instead, you work together to reach an agreement that, while not perfect, reflects your needs and concerns. This sense of control and involvement is empowering, and it helps you to feel heard and respected.

One of the most significant benefits of this collaborative approach is that it leads to outcomes that the parties are more likely to honor and uphold. When a spouse had a hand in shaping the agreement, that spouse will likely be more committed to its terms. This reduces the likelihood of post-divorce conflicts and the need for ongoing litigation. In my experience, most clients who choose the collaborative path do not return to me with contentious issues. When they do come back, it is usually for routine matters like modifying child support due to a new job or relocation, rather than disputes over non-compliance.

Court cases often see parties returning to contest or change various aspects of their settlement. This ongoing conflict can be draining both emotionally and financially. In fostering a cooperative and respectful environment, Collaborative Divorce helps prevent such recurring disputes. It encourages you to work out your differences in advance, leading to more stable and lasting agreements.

I believe in Collaborative Divorce because it offers a humane and respectful way to navigate the end of a marriage. It prioritizes the well-being of the entire family, encourages cooperative co-parenting, and empowers you by giving you control over your future. This approach not only makes the divorce process more manageable but also lays the groundwork for healthier post-divorce relationships.

The Law Offices of Patrick Markey, P.C., are dedicated to the Collaborative Divorce Process.  Our offices are located at 108 Stetson Avenue, Suite 3500 in Chicago, Illinois.  You may call us at 312-223-1763.

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