September 6, 2016

A Reluctant Spouse

flowerAs many know, because Minnesota is a no fault divorce state, one spouse not being ready does not need to stop the process from moving forward. The ready spouse can file for divorce and the process moves on in court with little control of the reluctant spouse.

A potential client recently came in for a consult and, as often is the case, her husband was struggling to move forward in the process. They were at very different points on the divorce readiness scale – she was ready, he was not. This is quite typical. The other spouse is sometimes called “reluctant” or “in denial.”

When one spouse is looking for a non-adversarial, out-of-court alternative (like mediation or collaborative divorce), there is more of a need to bring that other spouse along. The reluctant spouse really can delay the process and interfere with the non-reluctant spouse’s desire to divorce. This potential client said something very interesting to me. She said, “I know I am committed to collaborative divorce, but I am learning that this does not have to be a collaborative decision.”

This realization was profound. She realized that she could control the process (with her husband’s agreement), even if her husband never agrees with the decision to divorce.

It is common during the divorce process to have spouses be at different comfort levels with the decision to divorce. These levels of readiness can change throughout the process and even vary greatly from one meeting to another. The challenge often lies with helping the reluctant spouse commit to a collaborative process, while acknowledging his or her disagreement with the process.

A good collaborative attorney can strategize ways to bring the reluctant spouse into the process and help move things forward. Ways to teach him or her about the divorce options and lay out the pros and cons of different processes for divorce.  To learn more, contact Kimberly Miller.

 

Kimberly MillerABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kimberly Miller
Attorney, KM Family Law, LLC

Kimberly Miller, JD, MA, LAMFT is known for her ability to resolve challenging family issues without resorting to aggressive legal strategies that are damaging to vital family relationships. After years of litigating business and family disputes at a prominent national firm, she recognized the devastating psychological and financial impact that litigation can have on individuals, couples, and other loved ones. She decided to establish her own practice to promote alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as collaborative law and mediation, to reach consensus. Learn more at www.KMFamilyLaw.com

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August 31, 2016

Spirited Children

My kids are spirited.  Not possessed, although somedays it seems like they are.  I thought the term “spirited child” referred to a child with ADD or ADHD.  Not true.  It’s not a diagnosis – it’s simply temperament.  Thank goodness for Continue reading…

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August 29, 2016

Growing from Your Divorce

In the early days of separation and divorce you may find the idea of growing from your divorce difficult to believe. You may be in a state of depression or denial wondering how your life will carry on, much less Continue reading…

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August 23, 2016

The Greek Chorus During Divorce

Categories: Divorce

When getting divorced, it is important to have a support network.  Having a sounding board and friends to talk through things with can help you evaluate options.  They can remind you that you are not alone.  Acquaintances who have gone Continue reading…

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August 17, 2016

Please Don’t Argue in Front of ANYONE’S Kids at Swimming Lessons

My husband and I were taking our kids to swimming lessons when we saw a man and woman standing outside the facility arguing.  The anger and negative energy were palpable.  While still in the parking lot, we met up with Continue reading…

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August 15, 2016

So, What Does the Collaborative Attorney Do? Part II

In Part One I talked about the experience attorneys gather while working in the traditional role of an adversary. Tasked with the sole responsibility of putting the case together, attorneys were the person in charge. When we created the collaborative Continue reading…

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August 11, 2016

So, What Does the Collaborative Attorney Do?

Sometimes when a group of collaborative professionals are working together on a project, like putting together a Speaker’s Bureau program for a group, or working on a marketing project, we will describe the roles of the various professionals. When it Continue reading…

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August 10, 2016

Heading Back-to-School This Fall

Categories: Children in DivorceDivorceParents

It may feel like it should still be the middle of June and that school just let out, but the harsh reality is that back-to-school season is upon us. Co-parenting is hard enough during the summer when schedules are flexible Continue reading…

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August 8, 2016

One Gray Day

In 1967 when I was starting my first career out of college, I ordered a charter subscription to a new magazine – Psychology Today. I read with fascination the multitude of articles on a variety of topics. One that caught Continue reading…

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August 4, 2016

Connecting with People Instead of Profiles

Making online connections is easier than ever with modern social media apps. It is not necessary to know someone at all, let alone to know them well, in order to see their profiles and get an idea of who they Continue reading…

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