Collaborative divorce is another way to resolve issues facing divorcing parties. Collaborative law is relatively new to Texas, but is becoming more popular. Collaborative law is usually less expensive than high-conflict, protracted divorce litigation, and is appropriate for other types of family disputes in addition to divorce.
Attorney Linda Stanley of Austin, Texas, is a trained collaborative law attorney who is also a certified divorce mediator and a lawyer with over 33 years' experience representing parties in family and divorce disputes. For more information about collaborative divorce or other family law matters, contact our offices for a consultation.
What is a Collaborative Divorce?
In a collaborative divorce, the spouses and their lawyers meet and work together to reach the divorce agreement. They agree to eliminate the threat of litigation, thereby avoiding the posturing and gamesmanship that can go on in the traditional divorce litigation context.
Rather than "hide the ball" and keep information from the other side, in a collaborative divorce the parties agree to open disclosure of all facts needed to finalize a divorce settlement.
The Collaborative Divorce Agreement: We Will Not Go to Court
At the first collaborative session, the parties and their lawyers sign a collaborative law agreement. This agreement states that they will cooperate in the collaborative process and openly engage in divorce negotiations. The lawyers agree that they will not litigate.
If negotiations break down and agreement cannot be reached, the collaborative lawyers must withdraw and both parties must retain new lawyers to litigate the case. Because the parties and the lawyers are committed to the process, failures are infrequent. If an impasse is reached, the parties can also go to mediation within the collaborative process to try to reach resolution.
Sharing Information and Experts
The parties share information and expert witnesses instead of hiring two experts for every issue, which cuts down dramatically on the costs of the divorce. Although the spouses' individual lawyers represent only their client and advocate only for him or her, the collaborative lawyers work toward the common goal of minimizing conflict, delay and expense.
Contact a Trained Collaborative Divorce Attorney