Divorce becomes more complicated once you add children to the mix. How you handle the divorce can have long-lasting effects on their relationship with you and how they view marriage and divorce as an adult.
If you and your spouse are seeking a divorce and want to keep your children’s best interests at the center, a collaborative divorce is an option.
Known better as a “friendly” or “amicable” divorce, it takes the setting from a battle that could lead to litigation in a courtroom to one built on problem solving. Mediation and negotiation are at the center.
The Illinois Collaborative Process Act, which was signed into law this summer and goes into effect Jan. 1, establishes the benchmarks for a collaborative process.
In addition to all of the collaborative divorce benefits you two can experience, this model sets a good example for the children. It shows that even when a marriage ends, maturity and respect don’t. Children don’t feel trapped and forced to choose sides.
In some cases, a child development specialist can work with the divorcing couple and their legal counsel to make recommendations for children, based on conversations with all parties. This person’s job is not to judge or to take sides, but to collaborate with children and parents to find a solution that suits everyone’s needs.
Of course, collaborative divorce is unfortunately not always a realistic option for every couple. Having proper representation that can help you determine what course of action is best and how collaborative divorce can play a part makes all the difference, which will hopefully have a positive impact on your children.