Written By: Cynthia Weston
As we near the end of another school year, those who are involved as professionals start planning. Summers are not what those who are not in the profession think. Sometimes summers are filled with part-time jobs, home projects that lingered over the school year, preparation for the next school year (and yes, it happens earlier than is thought!) and family vacation plans. Summers can include the angst of the summer hiatus check- can you budget and make it until that mid-September check? Or you are worried about the need to pay for needed projects or vacation fun for the children. And then there is the need or desire to divorce thrown onto that ever-growing pile of to-dos for the summer, and your goal of having the family settled before school starts next year, as well as being prepared yourself.
Litigation will linger far beyond summer, but the collaborative process may be the election a teacher who needs to complete the process in the summer can provide. As a divorcing parent, a teacher has added interest in completing the process before the next school year commences. Decisions need to be made about residential schedules and locations, parenting coordination starts anew with a new school year’s activities and sports for the children. This is all occurring as you are stretching summer dollars and planning your curriculum for the next year. How can the collaborative process help? Here are just a few points that make electing the collaborative process for a divorce a good choice:
The schedule for working through agreements is not set by the courts but set by you and your spouse. (In other words, in many cases, you could complete the process before the school year.)
The process is private. (No one in your school district is going to “happen” to be at court to hear you and your spouse’s business.)
The process includes a coach/mental health professional who can help you and your spouse keep the children at the forefront and remind each of you of common goals you may have for your children.
The process includes a financial professional who will be knowledgeable about taxes, budgets, unusual pay structures, teacher contracts that go by the school year not the calendar year) to help you and your spouse together make sense of budgets and help you craft a financial plan forward.
Each of you have a lawyer to advise you of your rights, and to help support you in your goals and well as those joint goals you and your spouse will have.
The results of the collaborative process are typically comprehensive agreements that are lasting. How is this beneficial? There will be fewer, if not no occasions, where you and your spouse don’t follow what you agreed- you both participated and came to the agreements together. Agreements made with full participation are often lasting as they have been designed by each spouse with the team together, instead fa handed down decision by a court. If there are changes needed down the road, you can elect to come back to the collaborative process (for instance, during a school vacation, or with a meeting after school hours) to work through needed changes instead of being dictated by the court’s schedule when changes are needed.
The process, while requiring fees initially, is far less expensive than litigation.
If you are worried that a divorce is imminent, consider the collaborative process. There are many advantages.
Click here To learn more about Collaborative Divorce and how the process works.
We are located at 17 McAllister Dr., Londonderry, NH 03053. Our office number is 603-432-1931.