You and your spouse will likely be co-parenting your children and would like to have that co-parenting relationship get off to a good start: keeping alive the possibility of friendly relations which will help to protect your children from ugly disputes, and being caught in the middle of two unhappy and frustrated parents.
Probably you have also developed a circle of friends here in the East Bay important to you and your children, and perhaps also have extended family with whom you would both like to have cordial relationships, and who may provide needed support for your family during this time of transition. Handling conflicts with integrity, personal responsibility, and discretion also model some lifelong lessons for your children, and allow you as people to emerge with a sense of dignity and well-being.
The public court systems here offer what might be a “rough justice” with many decisions taken out of your hands and given to a judge. Also, these private matters become public record. You may also wish to choose Collaborative Practice to better preserve your autonomy, privacy, sense of control and ability to work creatively with the range of outcomes and options available outside the restricted range offered by the court.
Your legal relationship with your partner is over but you may be someone who is still interested in helping that person to achieve some reasonable goals of well-being and comfort in his or her new life. With these values in mind, choosing Collaborative allows you as a couple and as a family to tailor this restructuring to an agreement that really suits you as people, individually and together. The conflict resolution, with integrity and awareness, offered by Collaborative Practice East Bay allows for an individualized range of choices that will pave the way for a new beginning with self-esteem and regard for the others you love, intact.