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The Christian Divorce
The Christian Divorce is probably a misnomer, as the Bible is very specific on the subject of a divorce (Matthew 5:31-32). While it is clear that God hates divorce, there is no doubt that God loves divorced people. Once the decision is made to end a marriage, for whatever reason, the way we choose to transition our family will determine the legacy or the loss that we leave for ourselves as well as our family members.
The Bible does state "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God" [Matthew 5:9]. True Collaborative Professionals are peacemakers at heart! As a result, the Christian Divorce, if there is such a thing, may very well lie within the process choice made by the family in transition. Collaborative Divorce is the process choice that requires a family to “opt out” of the litigation process and resulting courtroom drama, and to work with a team of trained Collaborative Professionals who are responsible for the emotional, financial and legal hopes and concerns that wrap around a family in transition. The team consists of collaboratively trained lawyers, divorce coaches and a neutral financial. Each team member is there to position the family in transition to achieve success which is defined by the individual family.
If there are children involved, the team would also include a child specialist to be a voice for the children, as their parents make decisions that will not only effect the family but will start to refine the legacy being left for the children. The child specialist offers comfort to your children during a stressful time as well as gives them a voice in a safe manner. Parents are encouraged to model adult problem solving techniques, so that their children will learn healthy ways to solve problems as they mature into adulthood. Parents are also encouraged to recognize that their children have a pre-conceived notion of the ugliness and devastation that divorce typically has on children, and to send a message to their children that this will be different for them, and that their parents are willing to make sacrifices to insure that while the family transitions, the children will be loved and supported by both parents.
Collaborative Divorce focuses on Legacy instead of Loss. Collaborative Divorce emphasizes restructuring the family instead of dividing the family. Collaborative Divorce embraces creative problem solving instead of forced resolution. Collaborative Divorce looks to focus on the future and not on the past. Collaborative Divorce is the family centered process for families in transition. If there is such a thing as a “Christian Divorce”, it might just look like this.
Separate property is property acquired before marriage, property received after the date of separation, inheritances, and gifts. Separate property is not divided in the divorce. Debts incurred before getting married or incurred after separating are separate property debts. Spouses are required to file proof of community and separate property on a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure.
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