Many couples, especially if they have children, hope to keep divorce as pleasant as possible. While you may no longer emotionally fit with your partner, raising children together means this person will always be a part of your life. You likely want to explore ways to avoid making your partner into an enemy so that you can continue being the best parents you can after the divorce ruling.
Though divorce is always an emotional event, New Jersey has a long history of supporting amicable divorces, couples that do not want to start from an aggressive litigation perspective. Since 2014, the Family Collaborative Law Act set forth legislature to uphold conflict resolution-based practices for the emotional, financial and legal aspects of a divorce.
The right circumstances
Of course, not every couple’s circumstances are a good match for the mediation process. So, how can you tell if you and your partner should pursue a collaborative divorce?
You and your partner made a mutual decision to get divorced. Collaborative divorce can feel too raw for couples in which one spouse did not want to separate in the first place. Meeting in the middle in the mediation process is easier when both people want to find a good solution for the family outside of remaining married.
You and your partner have the same expectations for the divorce process. Solving problems through mediation works best if you and your partner agree on the basic framework for your life post-divorce. For highly emotionally charged issues such as child custody or support payments, mediation works best to hammer out details rather than work through completely opposing plans.
You and your partner are willing to compromise. Mediation, at times, requires each partner to put the needs of the children and the family above personal needs. If you and your co-parent can commit to giving up short-term desires for the long-term benefit to your kids, mediation could serve you well.