Often one spouse has heard about and wants to do collaborative divorce and the other spouse either hasn’t heard about Collaborative Divorce or has heard some incorrect information about it and doesn’t think they want to use the Collaborative process.
Because of this, the conversation is delicate. The best thing to do is for the spouse who wants to do Collaborative to think about what works best for communication between the two parties. Even when having spouses have issues, most spouses know a few things that work for communicating even when they are otherwise not getting along.
If they are the kind of person that likes to read and do their own research then, give them a book about the Collaborative Divorce Process.
The Texas Divorce Guide and “Meeting Your Interests: The Collaborative Process and Other Options for Dispute Resolution” available at https://www.amazon.com/Meeting-Your-Interests-Collaborative-Resolution/dp/0557192382, are good options. Point out these books or some websites about the Collaborative Divorce process for them to review information about it on their own. Those websites include: www.collaborativedivorcetexas.com.
Also, remind them that, in the long run, going through the litigation process, is probably going to be more expensive and more importantly, it is a much less efficient process and will be more emotionally damaging to them and to their children. Litigation can even cause physical harm. The high level of conflict in the litigation process can affect your sleep and your health in general, resulting in exhaustion and depression.
Maybe ask a mutual friend for their insight in how to approach your spouse.
If you have forgotten how to effectively reach your spouse, maybe the mutual friend can remind you. They remind you that, “Your spouse probably won’t read about it, but if you make these points to them…” or they may remind you that, “Maybe the kids are the soft spot and you just mention, ‘This might really be better for the kids.’”
If your spouse is a sports fan, and following the kids’ athletics, you can say to them, “When the kids are going to be playing, we are both going to be there supporting the kids.
Some divorced people spend their time fighting and glaring at each other at those events. I am hopeful that we can both be there and not feel uncomfortable or have the kids feel uncomfortable that we’re both there.” One lawyer used to say, “You want your kids to have butterflies in their stomachs for the right reasons as events like their recitals—because they have regular nerves, NOT because they are afraid their parents will misbehave and embarrass them.”
The Collaborative Divorce process helps to assure that the inevitable post-divorce relationship you will have because of the children will be a relationship that is healthy for everyone involved, especially for your children.