Starting the divorce process is often full of fear. When couples are going into the unknown and not sure what their future will hold. The party who generates the most income, fears losing money and the one who generates less fears not having enough money to live comfortably and to make it on their own.
In traditional litigation, parties are pitted against each other, each trying to be the “winner.” They spend money hiring their own financial professionals who are often at odds and battle in court over the division of assets, payment of child support, and possibly spousal support.
Your greatest fear may be how you will make it on your own. Income that previously supported one home will now need to be stretched to support two homes. How can this possibly be accomplished?
A Collaborative Divorce can help both parties feel that the process is fair, in understanding the needs of the other spouse, and going forward with confidence that, “Yes. I can make it on my own.”
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce in Allaying Divorce Fears
In a Collaborative Divorce, you and your spouse meet with your attorneys and neutral professionals who guide you in making your own decisions and provide you with the information you need to alleviate your fears.
The first step is often to identify your goals. What do you want your life to look like post-divorce? Where do you want to live? Where do you want the kids to go to school? What do you want your career to look like?
In the collaborative process, a neutral financial professional, often a certified public accountant (CPA), will guide you in gathering all necessary financial documents, like tax returns and bank statements. Then, the professional will assist you both in preparing realistic budgets for your future.
In preparing the future budgets, each party can see the needs of the other spouse and arguments over money can be diminished as you each understand where the money is going. You can also see how your goals can be met based on the division of assets.
This article was originally published on Collaborative Divorce California’s website.