Start a Divorce Case with the End in Mind

One reason I like Collaborative Divorce so much is that we begin the divorce case with an ideal outcome in mind.

Usually, the divorcing parties want to be collegial and, if they are parents, work together once their marriage is legally over.

With these goals, you make decisions to get there. Often, you don’t want acrimonious opposition or endless arguments because the working-together part won’t happen easily.

Start a divorce case with the outcomes in mind - not fighting!
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Instead, you take steps toward divorce that include listening to the other side, considering a variety of options, and having conversations with an open mind.

It helps that in a Collaborative Divorce, you’re not just supported by a divorce lawyer – you also have the benefit of a financial planner, a divorce coach, and/or a child specialist who come together as your team to help reach your desired outcome.

A Collaborative Divorce case involves a team of supportive professionals.
Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

Whether or not you choose a Collaborative path to divorce, you can begin with the outcome in mind.  

If you want easy co-parenting, try to hear the other parent’s desire for time with the children. View other details of custody and parenting time arrangements with that goal in mind.

If you love the house and want to remain in it, consider what the other party might want in exchange for giving you the house.

If you like to vacation Up North every summer for a month, be prepared to give your ex-spouse a month of vacation with the children, too.

When Alisa is not working on a divorce case, she's likely to be hiking in northern Michigan.
Alisa Peskin-Shepherd in northern Michigan.

Divorcing with the end in mind keeps you on track to negotiate with intellect rather than letting emotions drive the process.

It’s easy to let hurt, anger, resentment and long-held feelings of dissatisfaction cloud judgment – but doing so does not usually lead to a positive next phase of life.

Think big picture.

Think about the tone you want to set for your children. Think about the good times – there had to be some! – and honor and respect the good memories to help you part ways in a good light.

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