This is the third step of a series of 12 steps that explains in detail how the Collaborative Law Process works. Click here for the previous step.
The first step to enlisting your partner in the Collaborative Process is communication. Talk with your partner about your goals, and let your partner know that you are interested in resolving divorce collaboratively, amicably, and not in Court.
Often times, once your partner learns about the Collaborative Process and knows that you want to work together to resolve your issues, your partner will want to do the same. You can direct your partner to websites about Collaborative Divorce, books, and articles about the process so that your partner can learn more about the process. Be cautious that your partner might not react positively the first time you bring up the idea of a Collaborative Divorce. If you do not feel comfortable talking with your partner about this right away, you can have a trusted friend or church member provide your partner with information about the process. Alternatively, your lawyer might send your partner a letter with information about the Collaborative Process along with the names and contact information of other Collaboratively trained lawyers.
Explaining to your partner why you chose the Collaborative Process might assist him or her in making the decision. Let your partner know that you are choosing a process that is often more cost effective than litigation and will allow you both to come to a mutually satisfying agreement instead of letting a judge decide how will you divide your property or raise your children. Collaborative Law relies on full disclosure of all significant facts from both parties, and informing your partner of this might make the process more appealing to him or her.
Once you have had some initial discussions with your partner about the Collaborative Process, you should encourage him or her to speak with a Collaboratively trained professional. If you have already retained a Collaboratively trained lawyer, you can obtain the names of professionals that your lawyer has worked well with in the past who might be interviewed by your partner.