Divorce is a process that can place a significant burden on parents, and yet parents must continue to work together to strive for a healthy family dynamic even after the separation is final. It can be difficult to cooperate with an ex-spouse to create a mutually-agreeable parenting plan, but undergoing a collaborative divorce can be the first step toward a fruitful co-parenting relationship.
Collaborative divorce is a process in which a married couple settles the terms of their separation in a low-conflict setting while still retaining the guidance and advocacy of their respective lawyers. The process is similar to mediation services offered by Colorado’s Office of Administrative Courts but can lead to a better parenting plan in a few unique ways.
1. Collaboration implies less conflict
Collaborative divorce entails less conflict than standard divorce proceedings by definition, which leads to more amicable cooperation when drafting your parenting plan. Co-parenting itself is easier in the long term when you and your ex-spouse do not bear hostile feelings based on past conflict.
2. The child’s needs take priority
In the typical divorce process, a judge will make a custody ruling that they deem to be in the child’s best interests. By choosing to collaborate outside of court, you and your co-parent can use your own understanding of your child to prioritize decisions that you know will most satisfy your family’s needs.
3. Collaborative divorces rarely lead to post-divorce litigation
Post-divorce litigation can interfere with your parenting plan or even necessitate rewriting it from scratch. This is rare following a collaborative divorce, though, because cooperating to settle matters with your soon-to-be ex-spouse amicably makes it less likely for any resentment or unresolved issues to remain on the table.
By choosing collaborative divorce measures, you and your co-parent can build a parenting plan that is sustainable and healthy for each member of your family.