Skip to page content

collaborative divorce

Collaborative Practice For A Divorce Attorney In Reno

Why Do Divorce Litigation Lawyers Want to Enter Collaborative Practice?

I have watched my clients struggle with the traditional litigation model that we have in place for divorce in Nevada.  It is a flawed system – but it is what we have.  Certainly, litigation has its place.  That said, it makes sense to me that people working in the Reno divorce arena have inquired about other options.

Working toward a trial is difficult.  Seeing failed divorce mediation and failed settlement discussions, and to be left with nothing but Reno family court as the only option to reach a resolution is hard.  We can do divorce in a way that builds you up as a person, instead of tearing you apart. Enter – collaborative divorce.

We can separate your finances without depleting them.  When people have nothing left emotionally and are financially depleted, it begs the question: is there a better way?

Yes, there is!

I have walked with my clients down the divorce litigation path.  To say this is a struggle is an understatement. Divorce without court and working together to meet both parties’ needs means there is more of the pie left to split at the end of the day.

Couples do not have to bring each other down. You can be at your adult child’s graduation, wedding, etc. and stand there together with respect.

About The Author

Melissa L. Exline, Esq.

Working with families to bring some peace to the chaos that can dominate during the divorce process demands a special, people-centered approach. Melissa does not have cases, she deals with people — people that matter deeply. Her practice focuses on divorce and custody cases, and she prefers to work with clients to reach an amicable resolution. Melissa prides herself on an honest, straight-forward approach to family law, truly becoming a team with her clients, and always putting the children first when custody is a dominating element.

Melissa is Vice President of NCDP (2016) and on its board of directors. In addition, she is a member of the Nevada Justice Association and works to lobby in the area of family law.

Get in touch with this divorce lawyer in Reno here.

collaborative divorce, divorce in nevada, child custody

What Do I Do If My Teenager Refuses To Go To The Other Parent’s Home As Required By A Divorce Decree?

Many parents face issues with their children voicing that they do not want to go to the other parent’s home when the parties have divorced and agreed to a custody schedule.  There is really no defined age at which a child can determine their own schedule.  

If the custody schedule determines that the child is to go to the other parent’s home on a certain day and the child states he or she does not want to go, what are the options for the parent who does not want to be found to be in contempt of court for failure to require the child to go to the other parent’s home?

There are instances where a child simply states they do not want to go to the other parent’s home.  The custodial parent should calmly ask if there’s any reason why, which could be legitimate such as feeling sick and afraid they will throw up, etc.  The custodial parent should ask the child about their symptoms, take their temperature and assess the situation.  

If there does not appear to be a valid sickness, the custodial parent should tell the child that the other parent will be advised of the symptoms, but the child still must go to the other parent’s home, as that parent loves the child and is looking forward to time with them.  The custodial parent should first of all communicate with the other parent what is going on with the child on the custodian exchange date.

If the child continues to refuse to go, then this refusal should be communicated to the other parent.  This communication should be about the child’s refusal, without any name calling or blaming the other parent.  Approach the issue as if it is a joint issue that both parents need to help solve.  It is both parent’s responsibility to adhere to the custody decree. 

If the child continues to refuse to go, the custodial parent must advise the child that the custodial exchanges are every bit as important and a necessity as going to school.  If your child does not want to go to school, a parent would only allow the child to stay home if he was demonstrably ill, and that they are required to stay in their room, in their bed and to rest, and that his or her phone and computer are not to be turned on until the end of the school day, dinner time etc.  

If the child continues to refuse to go to the custodial parent’s home and he is not sick the custodial parent should advise the other parent of this behavior and that the child’s privileges will be taken away from them for this disobedient behavior.  That could include loss of cell phone, loss of gaming privileges, grounding etc.  

The primary requirement is to communicate with the other custodial parent without blaming them and to advise them what disciplinary action you intend to take. 

If the disciplinary action does not work, therapy for the child and the parent the child does not want to see should be initiated.  The child therapist will hold the child’s confidences, unless the therapist is required to call Child Protective Services to report child abuse.  The therapist will likely meet with the child several times prior to asking the parent to attend that the child does not wish to visit.  The purpose of the therapy is to help communication between parent and child so that the relationship may be get better or heal and to help the child and parent with tools so each can communicate better with the other.

If a parent neither communicates with the other parent, or supports the child’s wishes instead of the custody order and takes no disciplinary action towards the child, a court is likely to find the parent in contempt of court if the parent who is being denied visitation seeks relief through the court system. 

collaborative divorce, divorce in nevada, child custody

How Nevada Collaborative Divorce Can Help

Our Collaborative Team is here to work together to help separating parents who divorce in Nevada resolve their disagreements efficiently and respectfully outside of family court. Our team works to keep legal, emotional, financial and child custody matters from hindering a resolution that is fair to both parties and any children.

We at Nevada Collaborative Divorce Professionals believe that when mutual respect and a resolve to manage differences are maintained through collaborative divorce, moving forward has a realistic basis for success. With the more positive divorce mediation process this promotes, new beginnings and opportunities can take place. 

Contact our divorce attorneys in Reno and across Nevada today and see how our team can help you stay out of courtroom litigation.

About The Author 

Gloria M. Petroni grew up on a farm in Yerington, Nevada. Her Italian father, who came to the U.S. at just 16 years old, was determined to make a better life for himself, a trait he also instilled in his children. With her father’s determination in mind, Ms. Petroni became the first lawyer in her family. She takes her mission of providing excellent representation based upon trust and respect seriously as she works for her clients day after day. Ms. Petroni believes that every client is entitled to dignity and support from their law firm and from their lawyer, and to know that they are in a safe place where their confidential matters are protected in the highest regard. Outside of her practice, she enjoys outdoor sports such as wakeboarding, skiing, golfing, and hiking. She’s up for any new travel or outdoor adventure.

collaborative divorce, Divorce attorney reno, family court reno

divorce in nevada

Now that your divorce in Nevada is complete, there are just a few things that still need to be taken care of. You have your decree of divorce and you are set to start a new life. What do you need to do to protect yourself? Let Nevada Collaborative be your guide through your Reno divorce with the important steps listed below: 

    1. Read your Decree of Divorce. This sounds obvious. But if there are any errors, there is a very limited window to get them corrected. As you’re reviewing the document, calendar any due dates in your Decree. Sometimes you are required to provide information or complete certain actions within a set time after your Reno divorce. Check your Decree for actions that you need to take or that your former spouse needs to take and put them on your calendar. 
    2. Get everything into your own name. Confirm that the property you were awarded is held in your name. If it’s not, you will need to take steps to get your property in your name. This includes vehicle titles, bank accounts, and any real estate. You’ll need to do this for debts as well. If your former spouse was awarded a debt, make sure your name is removed. If you were awarded a debt and your former spouse’s name is to be removed, you’ll need to take steps to do that. This may mean refinancing a loan on a vehicle or home. Contact the lender to find out what steps are necessary. Ensure joint accounts are closed. And most importantly, secure your digital data. If you haven’t already reset your passwords, now’s the time. 
    3. Check your beneficiaries on all accounts. This includes retirement accounts, bank accounts, life insurance policies, and any asset that passes by way of a beneficiary designation. Make sure that your beneficiaries are updated so that your former spouse will not inherit the assets that were awarded to you. If your Decree says you get a retirement account, but you don’t take your former spouse off the beneficiary designation, your spouse will end up with the asset when you die. While you’re at it, notify your insurance providers for auto insurance and homeowners or renters insurance. You may need to update insured drivers, your address, or other changes since your divorce. 
    4. Update your estate plan. This is true for everyone, not just folks we think of as wealthy. Estate planning is for everyone, especially if you have children. Create a new will or trust. You may also need to update or create powers of attorney. While you were married, your spouse had certain rights to decide your medical care if you were incapacitated. A Healthcare power of attorney will allow you to decide who makes those decisions now. 
    5. Change your name. Everywhere. If you have changed your name in the decree, you need to change important documents like your driver’s license, social security card, and passport to reflect your name change. This is a similar process to changing your name after marriage. You’ll need to notify certain people as well- banks, creditors, insurance providers, your kids’ school, your employer, and anyone else with whom you do business. 
    6. Change your address. More often than not, divorce in Nevada involves a move for one or both parties. If that’s the case, make sure you update your address with the DMV, banks, creditors, insurance providers, your employer, and anyone else with whom you do business. If you have children, you will need to notify their school. You will also need to notify the other parent of your new address any time you move. 
    7. Make sure that you take possession of all property awarded to you. Again, there is a limited time to do this. This means picking up personal property, taking possession of vehicles, moving funds from divided accounts if necessary. For the division of retirement accounts, you may need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). It is your responsibility to make sure this is prepared, entered by the Court, and implemented. It is often prepared by a different attorney than handled your divorce in Nevada.
    8. Make sure you’re covered. If your spouse was providing your health insurance, you’ll need to execute COBRA documents to continue coverage under that policy. Alternatively, you may need to present your Decree of Divorce in order to obtain coverage through your employer outside open enrollment. 
    9. Follow your Decree of Divorce. If you are ordered to pay support, pay it. Make sure you exercise your custodial time with your children. Make sure you are timely providing bills for shared expenses, such as medical bills and extracurricular activities. Keep the other parent advised of appointments, meetings, or other information regarding your children. Communicate with the other parent regarding your children. There are platforms specifically designed for this purpose, namely Talking Parents and Our Family Wizard, which can make keeping up with information about your kids much easier.
    10.  Recover. Divorce in Nevada is overwhelming. It is one of the most stressful experiences you will have, even if it is amicable. Honoring that struggle and giving yourself the time and space to heal will ensure you have a solid foundation upon which to build a new life. Who are you now? Who will you become? The power is yours to reclaim your life. You can’t rewrite the past, but you can decide where your story goes from here.

Let Nevada Collaborative Divorce Professionals Represent You in Your Reno Divorce 

The knowledgeable and professional attorneys at Nevada Collaborative Divorce use the combination of legal, mental health, and financial professionals that are dedicated to representing your case. Our goal is to guide and support you through the Reno divorce process with compassion and care. What makes our services so unique is that we offer an entire team of professionals well-versed in their respective fields to assist you. Reno divorce attorneys, financial specialists, and mental health professionals make up your “Collaborative team”. 

Nevada Collaborative Divorce Professionals work together to help contesting parties resolve their disagreements efficiently and respectfully outside of court. Connect with us today and see how our team can help your Reno divorce stay out of courtroom litigation! 

About the Author: Gloria Petroni

Gloria M. Petroni grew up on a farm in Yerington, Nevada. Her Italian father, who came to the U.S. at just 16 years old, was determined to make a better life for himself, a trait he also instilled in his children. With her father’s determination in mind, Ms. Petroni became the first lawyer in her family. She takes her mission of providing excellent representation based upon trust and respect seriously as she works for her clients day after day. Ms. Petroni believes that every client is entitled to dignity and support from their law firm and from their lawyer, and to know that they are in a safe place where their confidential matters are protected in the highest regard. Outside of her practice, she enjoys outdoor sports such as wakeboarding, skiing, golfing, and hiking. She’s up for any new travel or outdoor adventure.

The children in a couple’s divorce can become the unintended victims of suffering, having the least ability and experience to cope with personal and emotional distress. However, there is a healthier and more effective process that separating parents can use to divorce, where they are always in charge of their own mutually agreed upon resolution. This is called the Collaborative Divorce Process, and it actually has many benefits for children. We will describe the benefits and how they work, along with resources for your child that you as a separating parent can use.

There are many benefits to children when their parents use the collaborative divorce and mediation-like process:

  • A healthier way to address your child’s needs: The collaborative divorce method is designed to be non-adversarial, or keep opposition out of the way of peacefully and respectfully settling a divorce. The process allows for the two parties to work together to create mutually beneficial settlements, encouraged by respectful dialogue and a cooperative, problem-solving approach. With this goal in mind, focus can then be placed on the needs of the children and how the parties can provide for those needs post-divorce. This keeps the children out of the middle of the conflict, reducing any added stressors they are already facing due to their parents separating.
  • Reduces conflict: With court-based divorce, the resentful and hostile environment created can have a more negative impact on your children than the divorce itself. With a low-conflict collaborative divorce that takes place in a peaceful environment, your children can actually better adjust to the changes ahead of them. This method allows you and your ex-spouse to resolve your issues together, with a professional attorney and coach there for you on each side.
  • Promotes emotional stability: It can be easy to bring the conflict of a court-room battle home to your children, causing them to lose their ability to cope with the divorçe. Collaborative divorce promotes calm and level-headed discussions that allow you to stay strong emotionally to take better care of your children, and your demonstrated positivity can help them with their own emotional transition.
  • Resolves financial issues: Collaborative divorce is more economical in many ways, giving you the opportunity to fairly divide your assets to benefit yourself and your children for their future stability.
  • Encourages co-parenting: The collaborative divorce mentality promotes that your former spouse is more than just an ex, but a co-parent to always be there for your kids. You will be given the opportunity to work together and solve problems as they arise, so you’ll have more chances to make your kids happy when they see you together at their personal activities and family events.
  • Offers creative solutions: Collaborative divorce encourages the separated parties to use creativity to resolve challenges relating to child custody, visitation, and more.

Emotional Support Resources For Your Child: 

Child inclusive: In some cases, a child specialist will meet with the children to provide feedback to the collaborative team and parties. This is important because they are meeting in a neutral environment to provide feedback and information to help create a support plan for the children in the collaborative divorce process. This mental health professional can assess the feelings and needs of the child to help them feel a sense of support. They can also inform the parents of their child’s concerns and desires so these can be worked into the final parenting plan.

About Nevada Collaborative Divorce Professionals

NCDP professionals work together to help contesting parties resolve their disagreements efficiently and respectfully outside of court. Our team works as a filter to keep legal, emotional, financial, property, and child custody matters from hindering a resolution that is fair and acceptable to both divorcing parties and any children. NCDP’s team is composed of divorce lawyers, mental health, and financial professionals based out of Northern Nevada cities Reno, Sparks, Carson City, and Minden/Gardnerville. We can help your conflicts become resolved without going to court by negotiating mutually acceptable settlements.

Our Melissa Exline, Vice President since 2016, focuses on divorce and custody cases and works with clients to reach an amicable resolution. She takes an honest, straight-forward approach to family law, always putting children first when custody is a high priority. A member of the Nevada Justice Association, you can find Melissa at Surratt Law Practice in Reno, Nevada.

We at Nevada Collaborative Divorce Professionals believe that when mutual respect and a resolve to manage differences are maintained through cooperative divorce, moving forward has a realistic basis for success. With the more positive process this method promotes, new beginnings and opportunities take root more quickly. Contact us today and see how our team can help your divorce stay out of courtroom litigation!

Top