The Collaborative Blog

Where Do I Begin?

This is a journey through an admittedly unsettling adjustment. It doesn’t have to result in long lasting trauma. To help you to avoid unnecessary abrasions, I’m offering 5 additional tools.
by: Susan Morrow
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529 Plans Are Worth A Second Look

When considering the financial aspects of a divorce, every asset is worth a second look. In many cases, the parties have 529 plans for their children’s college education. In most mediated settlements, the parties put the 529 plan in the children’s column and there is little discussion over which parent will manage the account. Most clients are not familiar with the rules and regulations that govern 529 plans.
by: Kristen Shearin
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How to Deal with Inflammatory and Accusatory Communications from Your Co-Parent

It is not uncommon that my clients forward emails from their co-parent to me and ask for advice about how to respond. Often, the emails are accusatory and combative in nature. When this happens, things quickly become unproductive.
by: Courtney H. Smith
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What are the Emotional Benefits of Collaborative Divorce?

There are so many emotions involved in the dissolution of a marriage. When collaborative divorce is chosen by a couple, especially when a divorce coach is part of the process, the outcome is always more peaceful.
by: Ann Kreindler-Siegel
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What is Collaborative Law? - An Overview

During the time that a couple is separated, and prior to the divorce decree, it can be quite confusing to determine how to file the income tax returns.   There are many filing statuses that seem to be available, but how do you know which one is right for you?
by: Laura Burt
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Since We are Separated Now, Should We File Separate Tax Returns?

During the time that a couple is separated, and prior to the divorce decree, it can be quite confusing to determine how to file the income tax returns.   There are many filing statuses that seem to be available, but how do you know which one is right for you?
by: Cathlean Utzig
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How is the Collaborative Process Different from Trial?

In North Carolina, our court system generally has an “open door” policy. However, there is an alternative to the court system and your divorce or family law matter being put out for the public to see.  Collaborative Process eliminates the requirement of going to court, and helps families strategically settle all of their issues out of the public eye.
by: Katie Miller
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A General Roadmap for the Collaborative Divorce Process

The stages of a collaborative divorce will vary depending on the complexity of finances, the legal issues, the intensity of emotions and the relationships involved. Below, I offer a general roadmap outlining the stages of the collaborative divorce process using a “full model” approach.
by: Deb McNeill
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Getting Started

Collaborative Divorce takes threats, hide-the ball tactics and court room battles off the table. It gives divorcing couples the choice to participate in a private, confidential process geared towards collective problem-solving.
by: Irene King
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What Happens to Our Retirement Accounts Once We Divorce?

Deciding how to divide the retirement accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s and pensions is an important part of the divorce process. Unlike closing a joint bank account and opening a new one in your own name, for example, dividing retirement assets can be a bit complicated.
by: Diane Willis
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Will My Children Be OK?

This is a question I hear about 100% of the time when I am coaching a client or couple who are going through divorce and have children. They want someone to assure them their children will come through the divorce without bruises and scars.
by: Sandra Lee
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What are the Basics of Alimony?

A popular belief is that alimony is supposed to afford a continuance of pre-divorce lifestyle. Often times, the circumstances of divorce require- that both spouses experience a decreased standard of living, especially initially.
by: Geoff Owen
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How are Negotiation and Mediation Different from a Collaborative Divorce?

While negotiation and mediation are tools to settle disputes, collaborative law proceedings involve an entirely different alternative to litigating in court. In collaborative law proceedings, you and your spouse each hire an attorney trained in the collaborative law process.
by: Eric Trosch
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The Value of a Financial Neutral (From a Collaborative Lawyer’s Perspective)

Discussing spousal support is always challenging, so having financial data about each party’s income, needs, expenses, and the impact to each spouse of a hypothetical spousal support amount is incredibly helpful. If your collaborative attorney suggests you consider bringing on a financial neutral, hear him or her out because it may prove very helpful in your case.
by: Courtney H. Smith
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How Do We Tell Our Children We Are Getting a Divorce?

How are we going to tell the children? The most common, and stress-filled questions I get from parents who are separating involve “who, what, where, when and how” information will be conveyed to their children that the family they have known is changing.
by: Susan K. Campbell, Ph.D.
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My spouse and I both want our divorce to be amicable. How can we keep it that way?

Find a lawyer who understands your goal to reach settlement and encourage your spouse to do the same. Consider choosing a lawyer that understands and has experience with collaborative law.
by: Eric Trosch
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What are the Benefits of Collaborative Law?

By going to court, you ask a third party to decide what’s in the best interests of you and your kids while Collaborative law is a model designed to streamline negotiation and problem-solving keeping the decisions about your life and your family in your own hands. Twenty years from now, your family’s destiny may be different because of the decision you make today.
by: Rob Blair
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After the Divorce Papers are Signed – What’s Next?

You have survived the divorces process but soon realize the signatures on the agreements didn’t free your emotions. Yes, it certainly helps to get off that roller coaster but then there is another ride waiting called “rebuilding your life after the divorce”.
by: Sandra Lee
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Why Do I Have to Produce All These Documents?

When you see the list of documents that will be gathered and exchanged by you and your spouse in the collaborative process, it will probably seem overwhelming. However, the documents are essential to the process for a number of reasons
by: Courtney H. Smith
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The Role of a Divorce Coach

So the words have been spoken, “I want a divorce.” It may be your choice, the choice may be being made for you – either case the next steps that follow are pivotal for the healing and success of you and your family. What you need is a Divorce Coach.
by: Sandra Lee
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What Should We Do About Life Insurance When Getting a Divorce?

Divorce doesn’t eliminate the concerns you insured against as a married couple. In fact new needs are generated. The child-support paying spouse may be the noncustodial parent, but he/she will still want to ensure the children’s basic needs are met and provide for major aims such as education expenses even if deceased. In addition, costs for childcare could rise significantly if the custodial parent dies. Consequently, it may be advisable for the noncustodial parent to purchase life insurance on the custodial parent.
by: Geoff Owen
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What Do We Tell Our Children?

As with any difficult news, there is never truly a “good time” to explain too your children that you will be separating. What they need to know is that both parents will continue to love and care for them.

by: Maria Curran
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Should I Trust a Recommendation from My Spouse’s Collaborative Attorney About Who to Hire to Represent Me?

Here is a common hypothetical scenario to consider: you and your spouse are preparing to separate, or have recently separated, and your spouse has hired a collaborative lawyer to represent him/her. You have not yet hired an attorney and so your spouse provides you with names of other collaborative attorneys who his/her attorney recommends for you to meet with. Should you trust these recommendations?
by: Courtney H. Smith
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Self-Compassion Affirmation from your Divorce Coach

Divorce is no doubt one of the most challenging times of a person’s life. The hurtful words spoken and actions taken leading up to the decision to divorce often continue right into the divorce process. I have found the Collaborative Divorce process to be one that is more healing than others.
by: Sandra Lee
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How Do I Adjust to Life Financially After Divorce

The financial adjustment to divorce commonly gets pushed to the back-burner as the process unfolds. . This is understandable given the emotional toil and the nature of “putting out the fire immediately in front of you.”   However a divorcee’s long-term financial stability and life planning benefit from early recognition of financial matters.
by: Geoff Owen
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3 Reasons to Add a Child Specialist to the Collaborative Divorce Team.

The Collaborative approach to divorce has many benefits; chief among them is the opportunity to work with an expert who supports both parents and their children.
by: Susan K. Campbell, Ph.D.
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What is The Role of a Collaborative Divorce Coach?

The services of a collaborative divorce coach are often engaged to assist individuals, or couples, going through this difficult transition.
by: Ann Kreindler-Siegel
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What is Collaborative Divorce?

When court proceedings and the threat of court are removed from the settlement process, the creativity, range and durability of settlement options greatly expands.
by: Irene King
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The Magic of Collaborative Divorce

When lawyers and their clients all pull together in the same direction, they build the endurance to collectively work through issues to solve conflicts.
by: Irene King
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Settling Anxiety and Fear

Rebuilding your life, and maintaining your integrity, respect and family unit throughout a divorce are key to a smooth transition.
by: Ann Kreindler-Siegel
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3 Reasons to Add a Collaborative Divorce Coach to Your Team

A collaborative divorce coach can provide many different services during the divorce process. Here are three primary roles if you engage the services of a coach
by: Ann Kreindler-Siegel
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The Collaborative Divorce Process

10 reasons The Collaborative Divorce Process may be for you.
by: Irene King
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