How To: Convincing your spouse to participate in the collaborative divorce process

As a family law attorney who is trained in collaborative divorce, I advise potential clients seeking a divorce of the benefits of the collaborative divorce process. After learning about the process, many are attracted to the concept of reaching an amicable resolution to their divorce that is suited to their family’s needs without the agony and stress of traditional litigation. Nevertheless, those prospective clients who are attracted to the concept are often at a loss when it comes to convincing their spouse to engage in the collaborative divorce process. Listed below are some suggestions on how to approach your spouse about collaborative divorce:

1. Obtain or put together an informational packet about collaborative divorce and give it to your spouse. Sometimes the written word from a collaborative divorce professional is better than a conversation. At The Yeatts Law Firm, we have information about the collaborative divorce process. You may also direct your spouse to the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals website, which contains lots of information about the collaborative divorce process.

2. Emphasize your commitment to the process It is important that your spouse knows that you are determined to behave in a respectful, ethical and honest manner and that the collaborative divorce process is one that permits you to do so; that you truly believe that you and your spouse can reach an agreement that meets both of your needs; that you would prefer for your private life to stay private; that each of you want to determine the terms of your divorce rather than a disinterested judge; and that you are interested in reaching a long term solution and not revenge.

3. Contact a collaborative professional. The Birmingham Collaborative Alliance is made of a consortium of collaboratively trained professionals, including mental health professionals, financial planners and attorneys. These trained professionals often play a vital part of the collaborative divorce process and can educate you and your spouse about the details of collaborative divorce and whether it is right for your particular family situation. The Yeatts Law Firm is a proud member of the Birmingham Collaborative Alliance.

4. Consider asking a trusted family member or friend who has maintained a positive relationship with your spouse to discuss the benefits of collaborative divorce with your spouse. Individuals whom your spouse trusts may be able to offer sufficient encouragement for your husband or wife to try this rewarding alternative to the adversarial method of resolving domestic disputes.

While it is unclear what combination of the above may be enough to convince a reluctant spouse to participate in the collaborative divorce process, the rewards that you may gain from engaging in the collaborative process are well worth the effort. For more information about the collaborative divorce process, contact The Yeatts Law Firm today.