life collaborative divorce
Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

Life After Collaborative Divorce

Divorce is never easy. Fortunately, there is a better option that fits well with most families: collaborative divorce.

These families understand that a change in address and marital status doesn’t keep them from being labeled “family.”

Together, the parents are willing to work together to find some common ground to help their children and themselves deal with the changes associated with divorce.

The Musselmanns

When the Musselmanns decided to divorce, it was hard not just for their children but also for their extended families. Divorces just didn’t happen to their family; at least that’s what they heard from everyone.

The marriage wasn’t working any longer, and Seth and Amy needed to make a change. They’d been young when they married, and by the time they were in their late 30s, they’d grown so far apart they didn’t see a way to get back together. Of course, they had their children, Becky, aged 12 and Connor, aged 8, to consider. They chose collaborative divorce.

“This process worked so well for our family,” said Amy. “Because we went through it together, we were able to continue to call ourselves family, and that made a huge difference for our parents and everyone else who knew us together. Our transition was easier because of this process.”

Seth felt it was also better for their children. “I didn’t want to be an absentee dad—ever. By choosing collaborative divorce, we didn’t leave our parenting arrangements at the mercy of the courts. Now Amy and I share responsibility for raising our children, and I think it’s made us even better parents now that we’re divorced.”

The Bronsons

Even with a collaborative divorce, there can be some bumps in the road. For the Bronsons, that bump was infidelity. Still, even with that breech of trust, Tom and Cheryl wanted to do what was best for their children.

“I won’t lie; working together on this divorce was not easy,” shared Cheryl. “I had a hard time even looking at Tom after his affair, much less collaborating with him on how to separate our family. It wasn’t my idea to divorce anyway, so there was a lot of emotion.”

Tom saw things similarly yet differently: “I definitely felt guilty about the whole thing, and I had challenges working with Cheryl. I knew she had lost trust in me, but I applaud her for not using her anger with me to come between the kids and me. That would have been unbearable.”

Tom and Cheryl were happy to have access to counselors and financial planners during their divorce proceedings since the affair really changed how they saw each other.

While their children were unaware of the true reason for the divorce, the support they had from those involved helped them to make a little more sense of a challenging situation.

Is Collaborative Divorce Right for You?

There is never a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to ending your marriage. Collaborative divorce is a choice for many families because it values the connection you have and helps you to move to the next step with dignity and care for each other.

While it may not be appropriate in instances extreme circumstances—like domestic violence—for most other couples, it can mean a positive outcome that helps them and their children to continue to be a family, even if they no longer live in the same home.

Are you curious if collaborative divorce is the right option for you? Contact the offices of Ogborne Law to schedule your consultation and learn more.