Julia and David

Julia and David were very angry with each other. They had been married for 35 years. Their three children were grown, and Julia and David were the grandparents of four children. David had moved into their beach home, and Julia had recently found out that there was a woman living with him.

David had felt miserable for years in the marriage. But he hadn’t wanted to hurt Julia. He also knew she would need considerable support as part of a divorce, as she had never worked outside of the home. But he also felt he was entitled to a few years of his own happiness at this point in his life, and didn’t want to be tied to Julia financially for the rest of his life.

content09David and Julia were referred to the Collaborative process by their marriage therapist. Julia was very reluctant to begin the process, feeling she needed the protection of the court and threatened by her husband’s suddenly cold and hostile attitude. David was also reluctant, but did not like the idea of a protracted litigation. They both wanted to be able to be present at important events for their children and grandchildren. Julia and David decided to try the Collaborative process.

With the support of their Collaborative attorneys and coaches, they were able to speak frankly to each other about their concerns. Once David realized Julia was not out to get him, he was able to more clearly understand what her needs were. Although very painful for her, Julia was able to understand that David’s love for her had ended and that he did want her to be financially secure.

They worked out a plan with the assistance of the neutral financial professional to provide for Julia’s needs with a lump sum distribution that would take care of Julia for life, thus removing the need for periodic support payments from David. Although the end of their long term marriage was bittersweet, they were each able to move forward into the next phase of their lives with their family relations intact and their financial needs met.