People pursue collaborative divorce for a wide variety of different reasons — minimizing conflict, decreasing stress or limiting the financial impact of divorce. However, parents may also want to consider whether collaborative divorce is the best option for their child. How might this collaborative process benefit them as well?
Reducing conflict supports a child’s emotional well-being
Studies indicate that high-conflict divorces can have a significant impact on children, sometimes leading to issues with mental health, behavior and future relationships. In fact, Psychology Today notes that children do not even need to witness their parents’ conflict directly to feel its impact. By taking a collaborative approach rather than fighting things out in the courtroom, you and your spouse may be able to reduce tensions and minimize your divorce’s impact on your child’s emotional health.
You and your spouse can address your child’s unique needs
While you and your spouse will no longer be married, you can still collaborate as parents to support your child’s needs. In addition to determining your custody arrangement, you and your spouse can use a collaborative approach to create a plan that addresses:
- Your parenting schedule if you will be sharing custody
- Your visitation schedule if one of you will maintain sole physical custody
- How you will handle visitation if physical visits are not possible, including a plan for virtual visits
- How you will handle trips, family events, school activities and other deviations to your custody schedule
- How you will go about changing and updating your parenting schedule over time
- How you will handle decisions about your child’s healthcare, schooling, activities, religious participation and physical appearance
Not only does collaborative divorce allow you to address your child’s needs based on your experience as their parent, it can also lay the foundation for amicable co-parenting after your divorce is finalized.
While collaborative divorce is not without its challenges, it offers you the opportunity to work with your spouse in a joint effort to support your child’s needs today and in the future.