5 Key Reasons to Choose Collaborative Divorce

When people get married, they don’t do so with the thought that they may get divorced one day.  When people think of divorce, they usually think of the nasty divorces that they see play out on television and in the movies…where exes are fighting over assets and child custody.  Fortunately, that isn’t the only option.  Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of the other option, which is Collaborative Divorce.

These are the top 5 key reasons why people choose Collaborative Divorce:

(1.) Stay Out of Court

Divorcing Collaboratively means staying out of Court and keeping your records private.  You meet privately with your spouse and lawyers to negotiate, make decisions that are best for all involved, and settle amicably. Read more here about keeping divorce records private.

(2.) Save Time

Taking a divorce to Court could potentially take years, and who has time for that?  Collaborative Divorce could take less than six months. The actual amount of time depends on each individual case.

(3.) Be in Control

Wouldn’t it be better for you and your ex to make the decisions instead of relying on a Judge to step in?  When a Judge decides what is going to happen, you can’t just go and change the outcome if you don’t agree with it.  It’s iron-clad.  That is the whole point of going to Court after all.

(4.) Make Things Easier on the Kids

If you have kids, it’s a good idea to put your ego aside and think of what would be in their best interest in terms of your divorce.  This is because divorce can be traumatizing enough without escalating the conflict even more.  It is much healthier for kids to be able to see their mom and dad working through things in a mature fashion.  This will also help them become more resilient through the changes that come along with divorce. Read more about talking to kids about separation and divorce.

(5.) Less Stress

Working together is much easier on both parties than working against each other in the adversarial Court process.  Also, with the shorter duration that it takes to come to a resolution (as compared to divorcing in Court) it also enables spouses to move on faster.  Who wants to carry all of that extra stress on their shoulders for longer than it has to be?

If you are located in New Westminster or the Vancouver area, call Rahul at Clean Divorce for a FREE 20-minute initial consultation for Collaborative Divorce.

 

What to Do When a Friend is Divorcing

If you have experienced separation or divorce, you know firsthand how painful and overwhelming it can be.  Even if it was a terrible situation, it doesn’t necessarily make it easier to move forward – you still have to go through the healing process and adjust to life without your spouse.

Do you know how you would handle it if your friend told you that they are getting a divorce?

This is not a time for you to give your two cents, put the other person down, or pick sides.  Nor should it be a time when you put the focus on you and share your story. No two separations or divorces are the same. Also,  remember that a breakup that you may have recently experienced is not equivalent to a divorce where lawyers have to get involved and issues like child custody may need to be addressed.

You should simply support your friend by being a good listener. Understand that they will likely be unable to have full control of their emotions at this time as well – possibly getting angry or very upset at the drop of a hat.  This is a time when you have to be extra sensitive to their feelings.  Don’t take  their reactions personally.

Of course you can give advice if asked – but be sure that it is positive, constructive, and empathetic advice, delivered in a gentle and non-judgmental way. Ensure that they know you will be there for them when they need you, but if they do call on you, make sure that you are truly there for them.  Real friends are there to support each other through these types of difficult life transitions.

It is important to respect one’s privacy. Don’t drill them for answers just to fulfill your curiosity.  If they share something with you, keep it to yourself.  Having their trust betrayed at such a vulnerable time could amplify things immensely.

Staying busy is a great way to help people cope and getting out with friends is a good way to start moving on with life – so be sure to invite them out and include them in your plans.  Even if they say they are not interested in hanging out, keep inviting them – just having an invite from someone can make a person feel better and supported.  It will also make them feel good to know that they have people to spend time with when they are ready to do so.

The bottom line – you should check on your friend often and make sure that they are okay.  Offer help when needed.  When someone is going through a hard time, the smallest gesture of kindness can make a world of difference.

 

Questions Kids Ask Parents About Separation or Divorce

The word “divorce” can be one of scariest words that a child will ever hear. Even if it is obvious to the child that the situation at home is not going well, kids never really want to think of a future without their mother and father living in the same house. It evokes feelings of stress, sadness, and confusion.

To make this process as positive as possible, you need to establish open communication.  This is key because it opens the door for kids to express their feelings and ask questions. If they know that you welcome their questions and feedback, it will definitely alleviate their stress and worry, as compared to having to keep everything to themselves and wonder what the future holds. Also, ensure that they understand that it is normal for them to have an emotional response to the divorce.

Kids should also be encouraged to voice their concerns to people close to them that they can trust, aside from parents, which may include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings. It is also a good idea to make sure that they know that they are not the only ones going through this. You likely have other relatives or family friends who have gone through separation or divorce, which you could use as examples that may help them relate.

When you and your spouse decide to separate or divorce, you should expect your child to ask these types of questions:

  • Why are you getting divorced?
  • Was this my fault?
  • Do I still have a family?
  • Will my parents both love me after the divorce?
  • How often will I see my mom/dad?
  • Who will I (and my siblings) live with?
  • Are we going to move?
  • Will I always feel this bad?
  • How long is the divorce going to take?
  • Are you going to get remarried?

The more confidence you have in your answers, the more at ease your child will feel. This is why it is very important to be prepared with what you are going to say prior to telling them about the separation or divorce. The goal is to avoid as much uncertainty as possible.

After your initial discussion, ensure that you check in with your child ongoing to see how they are feeling, if they have any questions, and to ensure that their school work is not suffering from the stress of the situation. Also, remember that divorce is between the adults, not the children. You should never speak ill of the other parent in front of the children. It almost always leads to the children feeling the stress of the situation and taking the blame for it.

It is crucial to make your child feel as though their thoughts and feelings are important and that their voice counts!

An excellent Canadian publication “What happens next?” provides useful information for children about what to expect from their parents’ separation or divorce.

In Collaborative Divorce, the goal is to reduce the negative effects of your separation or divorce on your children as much as possible. Call Rahul for a FREE 20-minute consultation to discuss why this would be a smart choice for the well-being of your family.

 

 

5 Tips for Telling Kids You Are Separating or Getting a Divorce

Separation or Divorce is not easy.  What can make it even more difficult is when children are involved.  It is very common for parents to struggle as to how they are going to explain their separation / divorce to their kids.

Here are 5 tips for telling your kids that you are separating / getting a divorce:

(1.) Do not say anything until you are 100% sure you are separating. This may seem obvious, but when people get in the heat of the moment, it is easy to say things prematurely.  It can be very scary and stressful for kids to even hear the word “divorce”, and for those reasons, you don’t want to plant this seed of possibility in their minds.  Once that happens, they will be aware that divorce has crossed your mind and could have ongoing fear that it could be a possibility in the future. When you have decided that you are definitely separating, it is crucial to not say anything to your children until you and your partner have both agreed that you will tell the children.  Avoid putting your partner in the position where they could be caught off guard.

(2.) Maintain a unified front.
Discuss in detail with your partner how you are going to communicate the separation or divorce to your kids, including why you are separating, and what they can expect from the divorce.  It will ease their anxiety if they are getting the same message from both of you.  This does not necessarily mean that you agree on everything, but try your best to stay on the same page. It would also a great idea for both parents to express that the other parent will always be their parent and love them, but that you just don’t get along as a couple.

(3.) Stay away from the blame game.
This can place severe pressure on your kids to feel like they have to take sides.  Just as you wouldn’t want your partner to speak badly of you or tell your kids about your faults that may have lead up to this decision, you shouldn’t do that to them either.  It is very unhealthy for kids to feel like someone is to blame, and this can lead to a breakdown in parent-child relationships that could potentially last a lifetime.  The key is to stay neutral in your language when discussing your partner with your kids.

(4.) Ensure your children know they did not cause this. For their own well-being, kids need to be told directly that they have nothing to do with your decision to divorce.  If you avoid being clear about this, they could carry around the weight of wondering if they are to blame or if they did something wrong to cause this.  Explaining to kids that you grew apart, but that no one is to blame for this would be a good approach to take.  After all, you and your spouse know why you are divorcing.  Your children don’t need to be kept in the loop about every detail.  The less they know, the less they have to worry about.


(5.) Be clear on school and living arrangements
. Questions about school and where they are going to live are guaranteed to come up. The more specific you are about this, the more you can alleviate their stress.  However, it is key to stick to what you tell them and avoid making promises that you are not sure you will be able to keep just to appease them in the short term.

By following these tips, you can help make the painful process of divorce more emotionally comforting for your children.

In Collaborative Divorce, the goal is to reduce the negative effects of your separation or divorce on your children as much as possible. Call Rahul for a FREE 20-minute consultation to discuss why Collaborative Divorce would be a smart choice for your family.

6 Ways Collaborative Divorce Can Save You Money

So you’ve decided to divorce, and aside from just being emotionally overwhelming, you also have to worry about legal and financial complexities. However, if you choose to divorce collaboratively, you can actually get out of your marriage with minimum expenses and save money!

Being able to save money is one of the most compelling reasons as to why Collaborative Divorce continues to gain popularity.

The Financial Benefits of Collaborative Divorce Include:

(1) No Court Costs – Spouses are able to work out their disputes and resolve their issues without having to go to court. Both parties are required to sign an agreement stating their intention to resolve all matters without going to court.

(2) Reductions in Lawyer Fees Associated with Going to Court – In a traditional divorce, you would be billed by your lawyer for the time that they spend attending hearings and other court appearances, which can add up very quickly. Also, if the court became too busy, your case may have to be postponed. Your lawyer would have to refresh and prepare each time before court, which would also add to your bill.

(3) No Need for Specialized Court Documents – With divorce litigation, there is a huge cost associated with preparing specialized formal documents that must conform to certain rules. The formal documents take time.  More lawyer time = more money.

(4) Length of Time to Finalize the DivorceCollaborative Divorce is completed much quicker than traditional divorces. This shorter overall process keeps more money in your pocket.

(5) Save Time Away from Work – Attending court and meeting with lawyers means lots of time away from work. Courts set dates with no regard to individual schedules or obligations, and people often have to use up their vacation days. There is much more flexibility in the Collaborative Divorce process, accommodating schedules of both parties.

(6) Childcare CostsCollaborative Divorce helps you save money on childcare costs because you won’t have to take so much time meeting with lawyers or attending various court dates.  With a more flexible schedule, it would also be easier for you to arrange childcare with friends or relatives.

In summary, any divorce is going to cost you money, but if you and your spouse can agree to resolve your disputes and separate amicably, you will both benefit from a time and financial aspect.  Not to mention, you will be reducing the overall stress that divorce has on spouses and their families, and that is essentially priceless.

Call Clean Divorce today for a FREE 20-minute initial consultation. Rahul is a Collaborative Divorce lawyer in Vancouver and can answer all of your questions about Collaborative Divorce and Mediation, plus equip you with the information you need to make wise decisions for your life, your children, and your finances.