Financial worries and restricted parenting time are two of the most common divorce fears.
These are both issues that nearly all divorcing couples must work through. One of the advantages of the Collaborative Divorce process is that it facilitates meaningful conversations around these issues and can lead to a better divorce process and a better post-divorce life than when compared to a traditional litigated divorce.
A lot of couples going through a divorce have financial issues. They feel like they don’t know enough about the finances because the other spouse or partner managed the money; or they do know about the finances, and they are concerned that there isn’t enough to go around – that there will not be sufficient financial resources to maintain the marital lifestyle.
The Collaborative Divorce Team has a financial neutral to help the couple both learn about their money, their investments, or any other financial information that is part of the family’s estate. This means that financial decisions are made from a place of knowledge instead of fear or worry. Even when finances are limited, the financial neutral can help determine the best way to minimize taxes and better maximize the income they do have.
It is best to voice your fears and concerns early in the divorce process so they can be addressed, which means spending financial resources on your Collaborative Divorce team and waiting until the end to suddenly speak up can lead to a negative outcome. You may have to redo a lot of the work and pay your professionals additional funds that you wouldn’t have had to pay if you voiced your concerns at the beginning. Addressing your divorce fears early in the collaborative process can be more efficient and less costly.
Creating a Budget
Some people have never created a budget or followed a budget. Before the divorce, they may not have paid attention to where their money goes. The financial neutral can help them create a budget and help them learn to manage their money going forward.
Parenting Time Fears
A big fear parents have is the idea that they are losing all custody of their child, or they will be restricted to very little parenting time with their child. They are fearful about what their future parenting role in their newly restructured family post-divorce will look like. During the divorce process, one parent may say, “I’ve always been the caretaker of the kids. I should continue to have most of the parenting time.” However, the other parent may believe they had less time with the child because that was what worked in their nuclear family structure, but with divorce comes two households and a new family structure that changes the roles each parent had during marriage.
Optimize parenting time for parents and their children depending on their ages and developmental stages
One benefit of the Collaborative Divorce Team is that we have a divorce coach and a child specialist, both professionals focused on helping parents work through and understand how the parenting schedule will benefit their children. These professionals also understand the needs of children at the different developmental stages of their lives and how that may impact parenting time. These professional team members can address both parents’ fears and make sure the needs of the children are not being forgotten in the upheaval of the parents’ divorce emotions. Similarly, in the Mediation process, we can bring in a co-mediator to help address these parenting issues.