The two people most affected by divorce are the divorcing spouses. As such, they are the people who should be most involved in finding agreeable resolutions. However, there are other parties who can play a role in a divorce, particularly when it comes to a collaborative divorce.
By definition, collaborative divorces involve people working together to find resolutions. And sometimes, these resolutions are best identified when neutral outside professionals participate. Therefore, you might expect to have the following parties contribute:
- Child specialists – These specialists focus on identifying and preserving the best interests of a child. They typically speak with a child to gain insight into his or her needs and wishes. They then prioritize that information to ensure it does not get lost in the heat of a difficult divorce.
- Financial professionals – Having the help of an accountant or other financial professional can be crucial in situations involving complex or contested marital estates. These parties can provide clear-cut answers to difficult questions and untangle messy financial situations.
- Medical professionals – In some cases, a parent or child’s medical needs will be an issue. Utilizing medical professionals during a collaborative divorce can help shed light on things like work capabilities, care expenses, and medical needs.
- Mediators or counselors – Even when both parties commit to collaboration, there can be matters on which they cannot agree. This is where support professionals like counselors and mediators can help. They may offer suggestions, attempt to get to the root of an issue, or facilitate communication.
- Attorneys – During the arbitration, each party will have legal representation. Attorneys will provide advice and information about the law. Having such counsel can be essential in securing a fair outcome and enforceable agreements.
These parties can provide critical insight and opinions on specific, complicated matters that arise in a collaborative divorce. This can be quite helpful when parties cannot reach an agreement or when they do not have the benefit of specialized training in a particular field to make informed decisions.
Keep in mind that ultimately, the divorcing spouses will be the ones to make final decisions and agreements (with the help of their attorneys). However, using outside parties wisely can make it easier for divorcing spouses to reach agreements and finalize their divorce more peacefully.