FAQs on Collaborative: Talking to your Children and Scheduling their Time

Collaborative Divorce has many finer points that clients and students often ask about. These FAQs posts clarify some of these muddier details, giving you the opportunity to accrue as much helpful information as you can. Whether you are considering your divorce options, seeking more knowledge about the process you’ve already chosen, or hoping to learn more about Collaborative Divorce more generally, the FAQs on Collaborative are a straight-forward teaching tool to answer specific questions you might have. If you have more questions, please feel free to contact the Miller Law Group at 914-738-7765.

How should you talk to your children about the divorce?

Consider treating these important conversations almost like you might treat a sensitive business meeting with a new client. Take time before to think through your goals and values. Visualize a positive outcome. Figure out what language you want to use, and even practice rehearsing in private or with a friend. Contemplate what could wrong, and figure out how you would best respond. For instance, let’s say one of your children makes accusations or gets extremely emotional. What will you do? What will you want to avoid doing?

In addition, take advantage of support systems and resources that you have, such as close friends or family members, a therapist, your divorce attorney, etc. You might also want to reflect on important conversations afterwards. Write down on paper what happened, what mistakes you made and what progress you made. Get these concerns off your mind, so that you can focus on rebuilding your life and moving on.

How can you create a caring and thoughtful parenting time schedule?

Discussions about sharing your children’s time can become fraught and emotional. Again, this is an arena in which the Collaborative process can be useful. There are very likely many mutually acceptable solutions to your parenting dilemmas, especially if both parents are loving towards their kids.

This parenting plan must be able to accommodate contingencies. For instance, what if you or your ex-spouse moves out of state or moves to a remote location in New York? Where will the children go to school? How will the transitions work? What if your work schedules change or if you need to go out of town? How should the plan be amended if and when new significant others enter the picture? What if the child has a disability, an emotional problem, special medical needs, or a suddenly demanding athletic schedule? What general process can you use to resolve disputes, so that you are not constantly bumping heads?

There is no plug-and-play formula, but the Collaborative approach can help you work out the right solutions, so you are not left trying to figure out how to make these decisions on your own. The open nature of the Collaborative framework will also help think through (and iron out) the wrinkles of time sharing.

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