I have advised many clients going through a divorce, on occasion following the divorce I have continued to advise both husband and wife separately. Whilst the outcomes of the divorce from a financial view have been varied and specific to each clients circumstances it has been the process that has had the biggest impact from an emotional and personal wellbeing perspective. I am not really there to provide support at this level but one cannot help but be drawn in and sympathetic to the feelings of longstanding clients.
The clients that have fared better from an emotional standpoint have been those that have divorced through a collaborative process. Through this route all the discussions have been carried out face to face with both individuals having the support of their legal advisers within the 4-way meetings. There have been difficult discussions but they have never been in doubt as to what their aims were and where there was conflict it was in the open with a full and frank discussion. Whilst this has an emotional price, once the agreement was reached they could move on with a continued respect for each other.
Whilst some who have divorced through the ‘traditional’ adversarial approach have come though relatively unscathed others have not fared as well. The uncertainty as to what their former spouse is thinking or what they are going to ask for next weighs heavy on them. The financial outcomes may be similar in the end but the respect has gone and there is very little chance of any ongoing civility in communications. This causes further problems where children are adversely effected.
Any couple who have gone through a divorce will say it is not easy but there are definitely some ways that are easier than others in terms of the emotional price paid. Collaborative may not be suitable for all but it is certainly worth a look.