Monday, February 3, 2014

Is Collaborative Law for You?

If you are thinking of getting a divorce you should be aware of all your options. In Texas, you do have the option of entering into a collaborative law agreement at the beginning of your divorce process.

Here are some facts about Texas collaborative divorce law:

  1. Each party has his or her own attorney.
  2. There may be a collaborative “team” that includes a mental health professional (perhaps one who works specifically with children), and a neutral financial professional or advisor.  Not all cases require a team approach.
  3. Instead of court hearings, there are meetings that include the parties and their attorneys (and when indicated, other members of the team).  Agreements are reached. Financial information, documents and other information that is necessary to settle the case is freely shared between the parties This means that the parties do not have to go through "formal discovery " (depositions, interrogatories and such) in order to get information. 
  4. At the beginning of the process, a collaborative law agreement is signed. That agreement provides that if judicial intervention is sought or if one or both parties decide not to proceed further, the collaborative attorneys are disqualified from continuing in the case. 
  5. Both parties must find new attorneys if the divorce becomes contested.

Just like in traditional divorce, the cost of a collaborative divorce varies, depending on the complexity of the situation and whether or not other professionals need to be involved in the team. 

Collaborative divorce emphasizes respect for each other, practicality, and lack of "posturing".  If you are considering a divorce, you may want to check out this possibility to see if it may be right for you. 

You can see more information, including videos and information from some real people who have been through the process on the website for the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas. 

Celebrating 30 years in 2014! 

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