How to make a collaborative divorce work for you

If you are contemplating filing for divorce, you may discover that participating in a collaborative divorce process is one way to avoid the enmity that so often accompanies cases that are litigated in the Ontario courts.

Below are some tips for using the process for the best possible outcome for all family members.

— Avoid casting blame whenever possible. While some divorces clearly can be blamed on one party more than the other, most marriages disintegrate over time due to an accumulation of unaddressed grievances from both sides. Pointing fingers of blame does no one good and prevents the parties from working through their negative feelings in a timely and civil manner.

— Shift your focus to identifying the mistakes that you made, as these are the only ones you can rectify. Failing to get a grip on what role you played in the break up of your marriage can cause you to repeat these destructive patterns in future relationships.

— Seek out counseling if you remain stuck and unable to move on to a healthier place. Family counseling involving the children can sometimes help them to work through issues of anger and loss.

When all is said an done in a collaborative divorce, some issues may still be too thorny to work out without legal intervention from the Ontario courts, and that’s okay. Your divorce lawyer can take up any unresolved matters by filing a petition with the court. Then he or she and your soon-to-be ex’s lawyer can litigate the matter until a resolution is handed down and the divorce becomes finalised.

Source: Psychology Today, “8 Guidelines for a Friendly Divorce,” Susan Heitler, Ph.D., accessed May 20, 2016

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