Family Management | Parent Health | Work/Life Balance | Parenting Tools

Should you consider collaborative divorce?

Teen coping with divorceMany divorcing parents are choosing to have a "collaborative divorce." We asked local attorney J. Mark Weiss to provide a brief explanation.

While divorce may mean the marriage has ended, the parental roles – “mom” and “dad” –continue long after the divorce is concluded. Those roles last for life. Nowadays, more and more parents are choosing the Collaborative Divorce process to help them be effective parents after the marriage has ended. Not only does this help the parents, but it also helps children.

Children of acrimonious divorce have statistically more physical illnesses, higher school dropouts, greater drug abuse, more mental health issues, and poorer school performance, than children whose parents’ divorce contained less acrimony. It is therefore little wonder that more and more parents seek a way to divorce without adding to the conflict.

To provide assurance that all are fully committed to working towards agreement, each spouse hires a specially trained Collaborative Divorce lawyer whose only job is to work towards agreement – the lawyers cannot go to court on contested matters. Instead, the lawyers (often with the help of a neutral financial specialist and child specialist, and divorce coaches), provide a process where both parties get information and support to make good decisions based on what is most important to them.

More information about this process can be found at

J. Mark Weiss is a Collaborative Divorce attorney and mediator in Seattle. Learn more about Weiss at

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