Just as the name implies, the collaborative process involves cooperation between parents seeking divorce. In many ways, parents form a new kind of partnership as they go through collaborative settlement negotiations. Children often feel less stress than they might in other types of divorce — the first of many benefits to your children of the collaborative process that can lead to better lives for the entire family.
The potential advantages of collaborative divorce for the children manifest themselves in many ways. The Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota (the birthplace of this type of practice) cites the following:
- It gives children a voice in the divorce proceedings as they work with neutral child psychologists or other professionals.
- It teaches parents how to communicate effectively to help them continue to work together when making decisions involving the children long after the divorce process is complete.
- It provides parents with a network of resources on which they can rely to address any of their children’s emotional issues that may surface after divorce.
Virtually any couple heading toward divorce displays some level of conflict in front of the children. However, couples who pursue collaborative divorce immediately begin learning methods of cooperation that they reflect at home immediately and long after the finalization or their divorce. These skills result in better co-parenting — and teach children by example how to manage their own relationships throughout their lives.