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Collaborative Divorce?

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GeauxTigers posted 9/7/2013 15:36 PM

Looking into this option. I really don't have the stomach for an ugly, nitpicky fight. At the same time, I don't want to get screwed and have to deal with it the rest of my life.

Any experiences out there?

Nature_Girl posted 9/7/2013 16:41 PM

I attended a class earlier this year for women going through a major life transition (women like me!). One of my classmates was going through a Collaborative Divorce. I'd never heard of it before. I couldn't believe how calm & methodical she described it. She didn't want the divorce at all, her husband was forcing it, but she was going along with it because he was willing to compensate her financially. If it turned out the way she described it, it sounded like an ideal way to go.

But it would only work if both people are mentally balanced and there's no animosity.

soveryweary posted 9/7/2013 17:51 PM

Nature Girl is spot on about it.
We are doing an "amicable" divorce, also because I don't have the stomach for a long, drawn out fight.
I hope it will work out for you.

GeauxTigers posted 9/7/2013 18:04 PM

Thanks, guys. I hope that's how it goes too, but I have a lot on the line. I guess it'll depend on what her expectations are.

We shall see. Hell, I'll take ALL the debt, she can have anything she wants in the house, but I won't be shackled into sponsoring her choices forever. Lifetime income is a deal-breaker for me.

kg201 posted 9/7/2013 18:25 PM

My WW agreed to do it with me today. We don't have enough stuff to fight about, we don't have money for a drawn out fight, and neither of us is saying that the kids should be anything but 50-50. I think the only thing that may or not be an issue is the health insurance, but I have to look into what my insurance company allows. She has terminal cancer, so it would be horrible for me to remove her from the health insurance (affair or not) unless there is no choice.

Nature_Girl posted 9/7/2013 18:38 PM

KG, you could offer to pay her COBRA payments so she could keep her insurance.

MovingUpward posted 9/7/2013 19:59 PM

Have you talked to an attorney to understand how the courts in your state would probably assess spousal support and division of debts and assets.

Knowing how the courts typically rule might help you in a collaborative divorce in making the best agreement.

GeauxTigers posted 9/7/2013 20:05 PM

After DD#1 I did, but its been a while. May be worth another visit now.

Abbondad posted 9/8/2013 06:58 AM


As Naturegirl said

But it would only work if both people are mentally balanced and there's no animosity.

Really consider this carefully. I always wanted collaborative; my STBXWW wanted mediation (sort of a "step below" collaborative).

I reluctantly agreed to give mediation a shot. It turned out to be a 1500.00 waste of time as my WW, true to form, was irrational and bullying.

I ultimately decided not to even try to waste more time and money on collaborative and just cut to the inevitable chase: litigation.

The reason why in my case was the big risk you take with collaborative: if it falls apart (and it would have in my case for the same reasons it did with mediation) then the attorneys must recuse themselves and you have to find another, and start from scratch.

I did not want to risk losing my attorney, as I like her too much.

Give your situation a LOT of thought, and good luck!

hopeandchange posted 9/8/2013 12:06 PM

Collaborative Divorce has specific requirements and IMO just increases time and money spent

IMO, both spouses need to be informed of rights and likely outcomes and then try and negotiate the agreement themselves which they would take to their lawyer

If this does not work, cut to the chase!


peacelovetea posted 9/8/2013 12:53 PM

We did collaborative, but we mostly agreed on terms for the big stuff like custody and financials, it was just the nitty gritty details. We actually finished the final document sitting all four of us in a room for 2 hours, then my lawyer brought it to court to be stamped as final. But, we were both able to be reasonable. WH did have a minor shitfit initially over the monthly payments of CS and SS but his lawyer told him to STFU because there was more than enough left for him. It was a good way for us to go, but we knew from the beginning that litigation was not going to be part of it.

Phoenix1 posted 9/8/2013 13:22 PM

We opted to use our state's self-help fill-in-the-blank dissolution forms. I filled them out after we had agreed how to split possessions. I did my homework first to see how the court generally rules, and I made sure our agreement met those basic requirements. We should have it finalized in a few weeks.

I did not want a long battle, and I just wanted him legally out of my life ASAP. We don't have much in assets because of his out-of-control spending (plenty of debt though) and I didn't want to waste money on legal fees that I needed to rebuild. And I knew he didn't have any resources either. However, I didn't want to completely tip my hand about my financial situation so I told him my family was prepared to assist with a legal fees if he wanted this to get ugly. It was a bluff (I never asked my family and never planned to), but it was enough to make him realize it was in his best interest to do it the easy way. I am getting what I want and know what I would get after a messy expensive battle (being realistic knowing how the court rules) for a whole $150 in legal filing fees and no fight.

swizzlestick03 posted 9/8/2013 17:03 PM

Geaux, I'm so sorry to see it has come to this. I think about you and some of the others who I followed often, hoping your absence meant things were going well.

Hang in there.

GeauxTigers posted 9/8/2013 17:15 PM

hoping your absence meant things were going well

Um, no One day I may update SI on my season in hell, but I just don't have the heart right now.

Thanks for the kind words, though. I'll be fine!

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