Prospective clients often call me to say they have just been told that their spouse wants a divorce, they are frightened and have no idea where to start. I usually suggest they attend a free online Divorce Options Workshop. The Collaborative Divorce professional groups across California have been providing these informative, unbiased workshops throughout the state for many years.
Attending one of these online workshops can get many of the most common questions answered in a private way. No individual advice is given. Three professionals from different professional backgrounds volunteer their time for three hours on a set day and time each month. Collaborative Divorce North Bay’s workshops are from 9 am – 12 pm on the second Saturday of each month. (Each Collaborative Divorce group sets their own monthly day and time.)
The first half of the program is devoted to the different divorce processes one can choose: “do it yourself,” traditional litigation, mediation, and Collaborative Divorce. Each process has its benefits and challenges. My experience is that once someone has taken the workshop, they have a much better idea of the process that will work best for them. Other than traditional litigation, the other three processes are all voluntary – both spouses must agree on the process used.
A family law attorney will discuss issues of timing, what you must do to get divorced, and child and spousal support. A divorce financial specialist covers many of the financial issues that are present in most divorces such as gathering financial information, dividing property, real estate issues, and tax consequences of divorce. A licensed mental health professional will discuss the emotional aspects of divorce, the sharing of parenting responsibilities, how to tell the children, communication topics, and the typical impact of divorce on children including adult children.
For more information on how to register to attend a Divorce Options Workshop, go to the Divorce Options page which can be found on the Home Page of Collaborative Divorce North Bay
Judith F. Sterling, CDFA, CPA is a financial professional serving clients in San Francisco and other Bay Area Counties. More information in her bio on the “Find A Professional” page.