Sherry came home from caring for her ailing mother in Delaware to find that 2/3 of the furniture had been removed from her house and the cat had been kidnapped.
Surprise- Joe, her husband, wants a divorce. That is how she found out. This sounds like the beginning of War of the Roses, not the beginning of a collaborative divorce case, but it was.
Why would Sherry select the collaborative divorce process when clearly her husband couldn’t even tell her that he wanted a divorce? How were they going to sit together and the table and calmly discuss options to divide their estate?
She selected it because she highly valued her privacy. The courthouse is a public forum. She also was attracted to having the help of a team. Her team would include a lawyer representing her, a lawyer representing Joe, a neutral mental health professional and a neutral financial professional. In addition, she did not want a Judge, who doesn’t know anything about either of them, deciding her fate.
Joe agreed to handle the divorce using the collaborative process. Why would Joe agree to the collaborative divorce process when obviously he didn’t like talking to Sherry? He didn’t even tell her fact to face that he wanted a divorce. Joe understood that the collaborative process would allow more creative results than they could achieve through the courts.
Joe owned a business and he was concerned about that business being disrupted by the divorce proceeding. He did not want a disruption. His lawyer explained to him that the collaborative divorce process didn’t include subpoenas or depositions. We would have a more orderly and streamlined process for sharing needed information.
It wasn’t always a smooth road on the collaborative trail for Sherry and Joe. They didn’t always act like adults should act. Sometimes they yelled in he meetings and slammed doors. Sometimes they violated the rules of the collaborative process. But in the end, they reached a collaborative divorce agreement that returned the cat to Sherry, that fairly valued and dealt with the business and that they both could say yes to. All of this with privacy and timing under their control.