Articles Posted in Collaborative Team

People divorcing after the age of 50, often called grey divorce, recognize that they have some different financial and emotional issues not faced in younger couples who divorce. As I wrote earlier, navigating a grey divorce with dignity is often an essential requirement for later in life divorce. Complicated assets, financial commitments to adult children, and retirement planning may all be in play.  Equally important to divorcing couples who have a long history together, is the need to develop the emotional tools to negotiate a divorce and reach an agreement that allows the couple to maintain a cordial relationship and jointly participate in family events. While all of these issues are not unique to grey divorce, that fact that older couples do not have the time to start over and rebuild their life, and in fact may want to maintain many aspects of their current life in the future, makes a divorce team of specialized professionals essential to help the couple address their short-term and long-term needs.

How Mediation and Collaborative Divorce Meet the Needs for Later In Life Divorce

A divorce team is a key resource in alternative divorce processes such as mediation and collaborative divorce. The divorce team is often made up of neutral specialists who help the couple jointly and independently to get the information, emotional support and resources they need to make decisions about their future. A key benefit of the divorce team is they are trained, experienced divorce specialists in their own field and bring in knowledge and expertise to help couples navigate unknown territory, typically at an hourly rate that is lower than a divorce attorney. Divorce attorneys are a critical part of the divorce team, but they are not therapists or financial experts.

Baby Boomer divorce rates continue to be above the average with one in every four divorces occurring in this age group. When I first wrote about so-called “grey divorce” (also referred to as ‘gray divorce’) in 2012, the overall divorce rate was going down, while the rate of divorce for people born between 1946 and 1964 already had a divorce rate triple that of their parents.

In 2019, those statistics are holding true. Grey divorce is a divorce that occurs after the age of 50. While the divorce rate across all age groups holds steady, the number of 50+ aged grey divorces in the United States has recently dramatically increased and today 1 in 4 people are going through grey divorce.

Grey divorce expert Jocelyn Elise Crowley states,

Many people who are familiar with traditional divorce may not understand when you say you are considering a collaborative divorce. One aspect of the process that sets it apart from others is the fact that it enlists a team of specialized professionals who can help you navigate the many decisions that need to be made as you end your marriage.

A collaborative divorce team of professionals may include:

  • Collaborative Divorce Lawyers:

The idea behind paralysis by analysis is when a decision needs to be made, all the options are over-analyzed, and not one “works.” Everything that could happen, should have happened, or did happen is considered and weighed. Then, the paralysis sets in, and no action is taken.

Sometimes this concept can lead to marriages lasting beyond their healthy breakpoint; people are afraid to leave because what awaits on the other side is (understandably) unknown. But, this concept can also carry into the divorce process. For example, let’s say a decision to divorce has been made. When it’s time to analyze the options, the paralysis may begin:

  • “Should I try mediation?”
  • “Should we do the collaborative process?”
  • “Should I just find an attorney who will be my mouthpiece and negotiate on my behalf, and I will never have to see my husband again?”

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View a portion of Andrea Vacca’s presentation on the topic of “Real Estate in Splitsville” to the group UnTied: The Thinking Women’s Divorce Resource.

Click here to watch the video.

Vacca Family Law Group

At the beginning of each new year, many couples who have been contemplating divorce make a final decision to move forward and end their marriage. That decision was probably hard enough to come to. But there is one more important decision the two of you have to make — HOW will you divorce? What process will you use? You may have heard about the collaborative divorce process from friends, or colleagues, or just your own research online. It sounds exactly like what you need, but you’re not sure how to talk to your spouse about the idea. The one thing you don’t want to do is try and force your spouse to use the process. You don’t want him or her to enter the process under duress. Instead, you want to make sure that your spouse has the information he or she needs to properly consider this process. Continue reading

I recently presented a workshop entitled “Collaborating in the Face of Financial Betrayal” at the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals 18th Annual Networking and Educational Forum, alongside my colleagues, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Ivy Menchel and Divorce Coach, Abby Rosmarin.

While this workshop was geared to the divorce professionals in the room, there are many lessons that anyone who has dealt with financial betrayal in his or her own marriage — and is contemplating divorce — should understand.

To start, we defined financial betrayal as the keeping of financial secrets in an intimate relationship. Financial secrets are different from other secrets because of the enormous ramifications that often result from them for many years to come.

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“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
– Maria Robinson

As true as this quote may be, it’s not easy to think about re-writing your future when you’re in the process of divorcing. You want to put your marriage behind you, but removing yourself from it is not the sort of thing that happens by snapping your fingers. You need support.

When you’re considering divorce, you should seek out an attorney who understands that the dynamic of your marriage does not need to control the dynamic of your divorce; an attorney who wants to help you break the cycle of arguments and miscommunications that engulfed your marriage.

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The feeling of or ability to be in control can be an elusive concept to many, and the lack of control can be a source of anxiety to those who crave it. When it comes to personal matters, like divorce, the need for control may be even greater. The feeling like one is not in control of his or her own future or relationship is a common frustration expressed by divorcing couples who are litigating and at the mercy of the court system. Luckily, there are alternative options for couples wishing to seize control of their divorces.

Mediation and collaborative law are private processes. These processes keep everything between just you, your attorneys and any other professionals who you invite into your case.

Besides offering privacy and dignity, the mediation and collaborative law processes also provide a degree of control that is absent from the court system:

The legal, emotional and financial needs of couples divorcing due to “financial infidelity” are often complex.

When many people hear that “infidelity” was the reason for a divorce, they automatically assume it has to do with sex. More and more often, however, I see that “infidelity” with money is the reason why marriages are ending.

Where physical infidelity may have happened once, twice, or within a limited amount of time, financial infidelity has probably occurred over an extended period, and has done much greater damage.