By Melinda Eitzen

What if he’s crazy, or angry or not trustworthy? Is collaborative approach to divorce possible or advisable?  In my practice I have heard certain accusations repeatedly for 24 years, clients telling me that their spouse is “crazy”, “a narcissist”, “controlling” , “hiding money” and/or  “cheating”.

When clients and lawyers are considering their process options to handle the divorce one of the concerns is – which process is better to deal with an angry, cheating, controlling narcissist that is probably hiding money? Is the collaborative divorce approach better or would the court model be the better choice. How can we possibly collaborate with him? Truth be told, for some people it is going to be a rough road to divorce regardless of the process path we choose. In order to get a divorce, we have to pick a path. The default is the court model. We are stuck with the default if one of the spouse’s will not agree to the collaborative path to divorce. I would still pick the collaborative path in most instances. The reason is that the collaborative model is better able to cope with mental illness, personality disorders, anger, sadness and fear. The collaborative model has a mental health provider that serves as a facilitator or coach to help us through the process. The team (2 lawyers, mental health professional and financial professional) in a collaborative case can guide the process to accommodate special needs and issues that the couple may have. The full disclosure of information committed to and required by the collaborative process helps people to deal with the distrust that exists when going through a divorce. The neutral lens and voice of the neutral financial professional helps to even the playing field in collaborative cases. Interest based negotiations allows us to find value in areas that the court model does not which increases settlement satisfaction. Check it out

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