My wife told me she was considering a divorce on 7/31/09 (for ease of reference I will refer to her as my wife, although she is now my former wife).
I was devastated. I knew what a divorce entailed and was filled with dread. I could not comprehend a life outside of my marriage, without my wife. What about my children? And the embarrassment with friends and family. I struggled for quite some time.
I had started my Collaborative training five years earlier and discussed different aspects of the training with my wife, well before I was aware of my own circumstances. Once my own situation became a reality, and after months of back and forth, and my gradually accepting the reality of divorce, my wife and I agreed to use the Collaborative Law Divorce Model.
As a divorce lawyer, why did I choose Collaborative Divorce? For several reasons. First, it was important to me to retain some control over my life at a time when it seemed that almost everything was out of my control. Second, I believed the process would allow me and my wife to preserve some degree of dignity. I did not want to be in litigation with someone I had been with since I was a teenager, and who would always be the mother of our children.
Finally, I did not want to risk litigation because the legal fees can escalate exponentially, and because I did not want a person (a Judge) who had very limited information about my family making decisions about my life and my children’s futures.
We completed our divorce through the Collaborative process. It was not easy, or inexpensive. But we were able to reach a conclusion that allowed both of us to move on with our lives and gradually heal.