I recently talked to a Beyond Divorce support group at the University of Washington Presbyterian Church along with a Collaboratively trained Financial Neutral. We were there to talk about the different divorce options available to those in attendance. The structure of the presentation was straightforward. We presented the options in order from those in which the client has not control to the process in which they have the most control. That spectrum looks like this:
Trial / Court – No Client Control
Settlement Conference – Little Client Control
Mediation – Some Client Control
Collaborative Practice – More Client Control
Kitchen Table – Most Client Control
We spent two hours with this group. The participants were at different stages of the divorce process, some contemplating their divorce options, others in the middle of the process, and others just finished.
While the participants came to the meeting to learn about the divorce options available to them, I came away with my own takeaways:
- Many people in a divorce too readily cede control to their attorney;
- Many people in a divorce do not know what questions to ask of their attorney;
- Many people in a divorce act on assumptions, rather than hard information; and,
- Most people in a divorce do not know the benefits of the different options available to them.
Make sure to educate yourself about the options available to you. Make sure to ask all the questions you have about the process in which you are involved. It is your divorce. You have the right to know what is going, where you are going, and why.