This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Collaborative what?

Collaborative divorce. That's what.

I just read on a lawyer's blog that comedian Robin Williams and his wife will work towards a collaborative divorce in order to end their marriage as amicably as possible.

It's a good idea. A collaborative divorce, as I understand it, is one in which the couple works together with a team to dissolve their union. At its best, such a divorce brings in the lawyers for both parties, mental health professionals and financial advisors, along with the couple, to find the best resolution for the two parties involved. Mediators can also be called in as needed. I attempted to use this approach during my divorce but couldn't deal with my husband at the time. I just didn't trust him. So my collaborative divorce involved only me and my team, on my side. We did use a mediator, however, and that really worked very well. In the end, however, we wound up splitting assets 50/50, which makes you wonder why you can't just do that without legal aid at all and save thousands of dollars. But because I didn't trust my then-husband, the communication was limited. And I wasn't going to be without legal help, which is what he wanted. That didn't make sense to me. Besides, even when you think you can divorce amicably without an attorney or with only one representing both parties, divorce is a very emotional matter. I think it's always best, if you can afford it, to have your team by your side. If you can go about it collaboratively, all the better.

My advice today then is this: If you are going through a divorce now, or know someone who is, and if you can afford to hire a team, I recommend doing so. Find a divorce lawyer who will represent your best interests--one who you connect with. Find a therapist who will meet with you weekly, and take calls in between. And hire a financial advisor, preferably one your lawyer recommends, because that means they will probably work well together. Each of these professionals understands what you're going through on a different level, and they know all those levels intertwine. If you have a good team in place, they will help move you forward. But even if your team doesn't understand this approach, and you have to work with each one individually, you'll still be better armed with the counsel you need. Plus, you'll feel better protected in all aspects of your future: your mental well-being, your financial stability, and all the legalities involved. That means, if nothing else, collaborate you.

You're worth it.

All my best,

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