If you are separating, you might be hurt, sad, and angry. Emotions are running wild at this time, so it’s tempting to fight it out with your former partner, and try to make them hurt as much as you do.

But quite often that road of conflict ends up causing just as much damage to yourself and others around you, as it does your intended target. At that point, you may wish you’d taken a different approach, such as collaboration. Here are three reasons why you should choose collaboration from the start.

For most people, their children are their number one priority. It’s important to keep them front of mind when splitting up, as a bad divorce can impact them negatively and damage your relationship with them as well.

Collaboration means a more peaceful breakup for all involved. You’ll work with a child psychologist to help you know what your kids need throughout this tough time and a financial planner to make sure everyone is making the best decisions for the family, not just trying to one-up the other. This means that your children come out happier and healthier, and with a result that’s best for them.

When the word divorce is mentioned, the first thing many people think of is assets. It suddenly turns into a battle for money, and everyone is trying to get every cent they can. The truth is, most of the time, people are scared, not greedy.

Collaboration helps both parties understand what assets there are, figure out a financial plan, and fairly divide assets between the couple so that everyone ends up with the best option.

This is done is through a neutral financial planner. Neutral because the planner doesn’t work solely for either partner, so no one feels as though they are biased towards helping one person over the other. They come in as an objective third party, and look at what all family members have, owe, and need, and work with everyone so both partners are informed and empowered to create a plan that will give their family the best future.

Staying out of court also saves money – lawyers and hearings are costly, and can end up taking a serious chunk out of assets, so in the end, no one gets them. The average divorce usually costs around $60,000, but some have cost hundreds of thousands or several million dollars. Collaborative divorce usually ends up being less expensive and much better value for all involved, especially when you are offered a fixed price.

Mental Health
The strain of a breakup on people’s mental health is often overlooked. The court process doesn’t take into consideration that a couple may be at different stages in the breakup, and consequently not ready to address it with the same frame of mind. Adversarial divorce isn’t concerned with whether people come out of a breakup happy and healthy, and so it can’t limit the run on effect on children.

Collaboration puts these factors at the forefront. In fact, the main reason MELCA was founded was to work with whole families to make sure they come out the other side being as emotionally healthy as possible.

In the collaborative process, if one half of the couple is not ready, we pause the process while they are supported by counselling or are otherwise more able to take the steps needed at that time. A psychologist oversees all meetings, to ensure they are productive and positive. A child psychologist works with both the children and the parents to make sure everyone acts in the family’s best interest.

And of course, working through problems in the mediative manner with a supportive team means that end solutions prevent unnecessary stress and anger.

We understand that divorce is an emotional process, and not a clear-cut legal or financial issue. While we can’t speak for everyone, our experience in the family courts has taught us that most people suffer greatly in that forum and in the end it is hard to measure the benefit from stressful legal battles. That’s why the collaborative process was designed to help preserve your health, wealth, and family.