Bringing a Reluctant Spouse to Collaborative Law

It is common for one spouse to be more committed to the collaborative process than the other. Indeed, it is common for one spouse to be more committed to divorcing than the other! Perhaps they have more information about collaborativelaw or they have a stronger belief that your divorce can be resolved outside of court. In addition to providing your spouse the information you have on collaborative law (educating them) your collaborative attorney can also help bring your spouse to the collaborative process.

One thing your attorney can do is provide you referrals to give to your spouse. In collaborative, it is always helpful for the two attorneys to work well together. Sometimes the reluctant spouse is open to suggestions on attorneys from your attorney. Other times, it is unlikely to help and the committed spouse should refer the other to the local Collaborative Law attorney lists. If you have a book on collaborative law or materials your attorney provided, those could help your spouse learn more about the process. An often last resort to bringing your spouse to the process is having your collaborative attorney write him or her a letter. If your spouse is not-yet represented, your attorney can write a letter outlining the process and providing information about the next steps. If you are committed to divorcing, your spouse will either need to join you in the collaborative process or you may have to take litigation steps. As long as your spouse is not represented by legal counsel, your attorney can write a letter telling your spouse that you have decided to move forward with divorce. The attorney can provide your spouse materials about the benefits of collaborative law.

So, to summarize, here are some of your options if your spouse is reluctant to enter the collaborative process.

  • Give your reluctant spouse a book or materials about collaborative law.
  • Guide your spouse to the online information on collaborative law. In Minnesota, the most complete listing of collaborative professionals and information about collaborative law can be found at
  • Ask your attorney to provide referrals to other collabroative attorneys your spouse could go meet.
  • Have your attorney write your unrepresented spouse a letter inviting him or her to the collaborative process.

As you can see, a good collaborative attorney can help you both find the right process. Call Kimberly to learn more about bringing your reluctant spouse to the process.