If it seems like more and more of your friends, family and neighbors are getting divorced, you might be right. Bowling Green State University reports that in 2019, Indiana had the tenth-highest divorce rate in the country.
Divorce may be commonplace, but it does not have to be nasty or vindictive. Collaborative divorce allows for out-of-court negotiations, a voluntary and complete exchange of information (no subpoenas) and respectful, good-faith communication.
Stay out of court
Completing your divorce proceedings out of court has a few advantages. First, you can get started more quickly because you do not have to wait for a court date. Second, you can decide on a place that is most convenient for all parties. Court houses and judges tend to add to the formality and stress.
Exchange information voluntarily
The divorce process goes much smoother if both parties are transparent and forthcoming with their financial and personal records. In a collaborative divorce, both parties agree to provide each other with all documentation, including bank statements, property holdings and tax information. This prevents the slow, expensive and adversarial process of petitioning a court for subpoenas.
Communicate respectfully and in good faith
Good faith communication means that you assert your needs without tearing down or blaming the other person. Adopt a neutral tone that seeks the best for everyone amid a tough situation. Do not play insulting games or develop a “scorched earth” strategy. This may feel good in the short term but may not pay off for you in the long run, especially if you share children together. Opt for a more efficient and respectful process to reduce long-term emotional damage.