When people hear the word "divorce," they tend to think of ex-spouses who are either constantly fighting or who want nothing to do with each other. A recent USA Today article, however, reported that more and more divorced couples are actually making efforts to work together amicably—oftentimes for the sake of the children, but sometimes even when no children are involved.
In one example provided in the news story, a couple who divorced in February of this year decided to get together to decorate for Christmas with their two sons. They also made plans to spend Christmas morning together with the kids. In another example, ex-spouses who have been divorced for 34 years are now celebrating Christmas together at the request of their young grandchildren (ages 3 and 5). The article also mentioned two ex-spouses who did not have children together, but whose post-divorce relationship was strong enough that they wrote a book together following their marital split.
The USA Today article included commentary from Judith Ruskay Rabinor, the author of Befriending Your Ex After Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids, and Yes, Your Ex. The author, who is also a clinical psychologist, said she has also noticed more ex-spouses trying to have peaceful post-divorce relationships. She also noted that some efforts to move forward amicably with an ex-spouse are unsuccessful, such as when one of the ex-spouses has too much anger over the past, or when the act of carrying out such a relationship could jeopardize one's relationship with a new partner.
There are many benefits to collaboration after divorce—such as the stronger co-parenting, and the ability to communicate and work through potential conflicts rather than having to turn to unnecessary legal battles. In fact, when it comes to working together, divorcing spouses can actually get started right from the beginning of the divorce process. This can be done through mediation, or even collaborative divorce. In mediation, the divorcing spouses work together with an impartial third party (a mediator) in order to reach a mutual agreement on their divorce terms. In collaborative divorce, the parties still work together to reach an agreement, but they are each represented by their own divorce lawyers. Using either of these methods helps the spouses have a better chance of reaching a divorce agreement without having to go through grueling litigation.
If you would like to learn more about your opportunities for undergoing a more amicable divorce, do not hesitate to reach out to our office. At Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC, we an Orange County divorce attorney (and a board-certified specialist in family law) who can assist with collaborative divorces, divorces involving mediation and many other kinds of divorce. Contact Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC today and get signed up for a free case evaluation!