“I am so glad we came in together, this has been so helpful.” This is a comment I hear so often from couples after they come in to meet with me together to talk about their divorce process options. Not all attorneys offer the opportunity to come in together but it is becoming a more frequent offering by attorneys who practice Collaborative divorce.
Who each of you meet with before you make any decision about how to move forward when there is a decision to divorce, can make all the difference in how things play out during and after a divorce for you, your spouse, and children. Imagine, if one person meets with an attorney that focuses on gathering information (how much your spouse earns, nature and amount of assets, whether you want custody of the children, etc.) and assessing the outcome before you have decided how you will more forward with process (Mediation, traditional court process, Collaborative, etc.). It sets the tone for everything that follows, often times setting up a win-lose dynamic.
But is that what you want? Most people want as healthy and positive a co-parenting relationship going forward that they can have and want to achieve a win-win outcome.
On the other hand, if a couple meets together with an attorney to learn about process options before getting into the details of the assets, cash flow/support, etc., you are focusing on the tone and manner in which you move forward, rather than the positions that can be formulated. Couples can then make a mutually informed decision about how to move forward. And the hidden benefit is that, if that attorney is hired by one of you, you already know the philosophy of the other key person in the negotiation; your spouse’s attorney. Imagine what a difference that can make in creating a more positive divorce experience. It can be an invaluable decision.