You chose collaborative divorce because you liked the idea of a calm, rational way to get through a very difficult time in your life. You had hope this was a straightforward process that determined a path to an amicable settlement. But as the process played out, are you finding it increasingly frustrating to get the results you want? If so, maybe a collaborative divorce is not for you.

You agreed on a collaborative divorce believing that calmer heads would prevail and conclude with a mutually-satisfying arrangement for both involved. There was good reason for hope, many times a collaborative divorce works as a satisfying solution for divorce. But it is not uncommon that once you are in the collaborative process, certain items you are deliberating about can leave you more concerned than hopeful.

Decide if you and your spouse are seeing eye-to-eye

During the collaborative process you may have learned about an idea you assumed was mutually agreed upon is really something your spouse wants to do much differently. If this situation comes up, it may be good to speak to your attorney about what your goals are and ask for feedback to get a different perspective on why these goals may be differing. This strategy allows yourself to be put in their shoes and can give you new insight on how you both can reach an agreement.

Are you being flexible enough?

Every negotiation is give-and-take and both parties need to understand they need to be willing to have flexibility and accept the fact they may not end up with everything they first envisioned. If you are having a tough time finding flexibility, you should look over everything and find what you care most about. Then, locate the items you can find wiggle room on and the things you are okay giving up.

Is collaborative divorce even for you?

You may end up finding out the struggle is real and the outlook appears it won’t get better. It is not unusual for a hopeful divorce journey to turn into a road with huge potholes. If you are at the end of your collaborative divorce rope, it may be time for other alternatives such as mediation or litigation. These options are worth considering if you discover the collaboration process is more frustrating than you first thought it would be. You may just find out that adjusting your expectations to the collaborative process is the best thing for you.

There is no doubt that a collaborative divorce can be a productive process that may provide a satisfying conclusion for all involved. However, if too many of your feelings are being bottled up and you are losing confidence, then it could be time to consider other divorce alternatives.