An increasing number of couples in Texas opt for collaborative divorces as a more private, cheaper, and less time-consuming alternative to traditional divorce litigation. The purpose of collaborative divorce is to help spouses work out an agreement without going to court.
While there are many benefits of collaborating with your spouse, collaborative divorce is not the best solution for every couple. If you want to know whether a collaborative divorce is a good option for your particular situation, consult with a Williamson County divorce attorney.
How Does a Collaborative Divorce Work?
Each spouse hires an attorney to represent their interests. Then, collaborative divorce sessions are held in a neutral setting to allow the parties to come to an agreement.
At the first session, the parties identify their unresolved issues and suggest possible ways to resolve disputes. The parties then negotiate and compromise to reach an agreement regarding all of the following issues:
Child custody (conservatorship)
Division of assets and liabilities
Generally, the parties may need specialists to help them resolve specific disputes, especially those related to finances and property. When both spouses want to try collaborative divorce, the divorce process will consist of:
Filing the Original Petition for Divorce;
Signing the Collaborative Law Participation Agreement; and
Getting the Final Decree of Divorce.
You should consult with a Williamson County divorce attorney to determine whether collaborative divorce is right for you.
Can You Benefit from Collaborative Divorce in Texas?
Whether or not a collaborative divorce is a good option for you depends on many factors. In order to benefit from collaborative divorce, both spouses should be committed to resolving disputes amicably and fairly.
It is best to work with a skilled divorce attorney to help you and your spouse negotiate contested issues and come to an agreement through collaboration. If you and your spouse are willing to stay out of court and end your marriage amicably, consider the six benefits of collaborative divorce:
More confidential. Unlike traditional divorce litigation, collaborative divorces are a confidential and private process. All of the communications between the parties during collaborative divorce sessions are confidential, with no public record of what goes on during those sessions.
More control. One of the most notable benefits of a collaborative divorce is that the spouses control the outcome. In traditional divorce litigation, the parties have little to no control over how their assets are divided and with whom their children will live. Collaborative law allows the spouses to resolve their conflicts without going to court.
Customized solutions. Instead of letting a judge decide for them, couples can work out creative and customized solutions that take into account all of their unique circumstances. Creating customized solutions instead of agreeing to a one-size-fits-all ruling usually means that the parties will stick to the agreed-upon arrangements.
No need to go to court. Most couples prefer to resolve disputes out of court, and collaborative law provides a unique opportunity to work out your difference without court interference. To initiate the collaborative divorce process, both parties must sign an agreement in which they promise not to ask a court to decide a disputed issue for them.
Convenience. Instead of relying on the judge’s busy schedule, couples can arrange collaborative divorce meetings at everyone’s convenience. The same cannot be said about the traditional litigation process, where the parties must attend court hearings even when it is not convenient to do so.
Cost-effective. If your divorce can be resolved amicably without court interference, it may be much cheaper than litigating your disputed issues in court.
If you think that collaborative divorce is right for you, do not hesitate to contact a Williamson County divorce attorney to help you navigate the process and represent your best interests during collaborative divorce sessions.
When Collaborative Divorce May Not Be the Best Option
As mentioned earlier, collaborative divorce is not for everyone. Not all couples are capable of reaching an agreement through negotiations and collaboration without court interference.
In fact, trying to collaborate may extend the timeline of your divorce and increase legal fees. This may be true if your attempts to agree on a resolution through the collaborative process are unsuccessful and you decide to go to court anyway.
Collaborative divorce may also not be the best option when a divorce involves a higher-earning spouse. Without a judge, a lower-earning or unemployed spouse may not be able to reach a fair agreement regarding spousal support.
Collaborating with your spouse may not be the best idea when your marriage involved domestic violence. As a rule of thumb, abusers are reluctant to communicate or negotiate with their “victims” amicably and fairly. Besides, if you have been a victim of domestic violence, sitting in one room with the person who abused you may not be the most comfortable experience for you.
You Need a Williamson County Divorce Attorney
It is best to consult with an experienced family law attorney before agreeing to the collaborative divorce process. Collaborative divorce may not work in your particular situation.
At The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, our Williamson County divorce attorneys are committed to helping clients identify the most appropriate method of divorce to reach a positive outcome and reduce the cost of divorce.
When necessary, our attorneys hire specialists to help resolve disputes more efficiently. Our goal is to represent your rights and interests and arrive at the best possible resolution for you.
You need a skilled negotiator on your side to advocate for you and facilitate negotiations in a neutral and informal setting. Our team of divorce lawyers is capable of generating customized and creative solutions to fit your goals, needs, and the specific circumstances of your case.If you are still unsure whether or not you can benefit from seeking a collaborative divorce in Texas, schedule a free consultation with our attorneys at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard to discuss your particular situation. Call 254-501-4040 to get a case review.