Seeking a collaborative divorce in Texas? It’s important to understand how it works and the impact it may have on child custody issues present in your divorce. You’ll first need to consult and hire a divorce lawyer in Plano who is familiar with the method and can represent you in the process.
Why pursue a collaborative divorce?
In Texas, going to court can cost time and money. It also tends to amplify the feelings and stress felt in a divorce case, which can make the situation even more volatile. This is especially true when there are children involved.
An alternative to court is a collaborative divorce. In Texas, the children’s best interests are always kept in mind by the courts when making decisions regarding custody. Of course, there are many factors that will influence a custody order.
The same is true when going through the collaborative process. The goal is to work out a custody plan that is best for the children.
The difference is that a collaborative divorce involves negotiation between the parents and utilizes professionals such as a child custody specialist who can advise regarding the best interests of the child. By negotiating instead of litigating, animosity may be tempered as both sides work together to reach an acceptable solution.
What is the role of a child custody specialist?
The child specialist or custody expert will be a neutral third-party. His or her goal is to help facilitate a custody arrangement that is not only fair to each parent, but that is in the child’s best interests as well.
This professional may ask questions or raise concerns that haven’t been considered before. A variety of issues will be addressed such as financial security, relationship between parents and children, fears, goals and more.
Sometimes a child custody specialist will also meet with the children alone. This helps in understanding their needs and wishes.
Keep in mind that the child custody specialist’s role does not involve making decisions for you. He or she is a professional who can help facilitate the custody agreement, but not create it for you.
What does a collaborative divorce entail?
Your attorney can provide you with advice and legal representation while attempting to reach an agreement regarding not only custody, but other issues in your divorce such as division of property or spousal support.
Your spouse will hire his or her own lawyer, too. After meeting separately with legal counsel, all parties will come together to discuss the issues that need to be worked out.
Meetings are held on a regular basis until an agreement is reached. In addition to a child specialist or custody expert, you may involve an accountant and other pertinent professionals who can assist in arriving at workable solutions for the various items in the divorce agreement.
What happens if collaborative divorce is unsuccessful?
If attempts to negotiate are unsuccessful, the lawyers generally withdraw from the case and it will go to court. At this point, you may hire a new lawyer to represent you during litigation.
In this case, child custody in your divorce agreement would need to be decided by a judge. The judge will look at many of the same issues that the child custody expert may have considered and brought up when trying to help you reach an agreement in the collaborative divorce process. This includes financial stability, child-parent relationship, history of abuse, living arrangements, and more.
Hiring a Plano Divorce Lawyer
Deciding on the right custody plan can be difficult. Working out the details can require a lot of time and effort. If you’d like to pursue a more cooperative divorce method to avoid litigation, you can discuss the collaborative divorce process in Texas with a divorce lawyer in Plano at Warren & Migliaccio. Give us a call: 888-584-9614.