Collaborative divorce in Texas is an alternative way to settle a dispute involving collaborative law. Instead of using the court system, both sides negotiate issues such as division of assets, child custody, alimony and more. The process ends if an agreement isn’t reached or if one spouse insists on taking the matter to court.
How Collaborative Divorce in Texas Works
Each side hires his or her own attorney. It’s important to work with someone who has experience with this process. Sometimes other professionals get involved, depending on the circumstances.
For instance, an accountant can help with money matters. A child specialist ensures the children have a voice and receive support. These are just some examples of professionals who may become part of the team. The end goal is to reach a peaceful resolution.
The process may involve the disclosure of relevant documents, such as financial records. When a couple works collaboratively, the idea is that they will avoid attempts to hide or alter information. Everything is out in the open.
Meetings sometimes involve one side with his or her attorney. Other times, both sides and their attorneys may be involved, and joint meetings may include other professionals. In general, this takes less time than it does to go through litigation.
Part of the process includes an agreement to settle the dispute without the conflict sometimes experienced in litigation. This means not allowing emotions to get in the way and treating each other with respect and open-mindedness.
If it’s successful in reaching an agreement, the family court’s only involvement is legalizing the divorce. There is no need for the court system to decide on critical matters, and it eliminates what sometimes can turn into a lengthy trial. But when collaborative divorce isn’t successful, litigation may be the only way to settle the divorce. In that case, the attorneys for both sides must withdraw and the spouses must hire new attorneys.
When Collaborative Divorce in Texas Does and Doesn’t Work
For many people, it’s a much more peaceful means of going through what can be a painful process. It works when both sides are willing to do their part. But if one spouse is inflexible, negotiating isn’t likely.
One of the key factors for collaborative divorce in Texas is communication. If one spouse’s goal is to lash out and express all of his or her complaints about the other person, it won’t work. But if both sides are willing to express themselves in a reasonable manner and stick to objective facts, then it may work.
Another important factor is the willingness to exchange evidence. It only works when both sides volunteer to disclose and share relevant information. When a spouse isn’t trustworthy, and it’s not likely he or she will hand over everything, this process won’t work.
No one can predict the outcome of collaborative divorce under Texas law. But if there is any sense that it won’t bring results, it’s best to go through the court system. Otherwise, you start all over again.
Seeking Help from a Divorce Attorney
Not all divorce attorneys are the same. It’s important to hire someone who has experience with alternative dispute resolutions in Dallas. This includes not only collaborative law, but also mediation services. The attorneys at Warren & Migliaccio, L.L.P. pride themselves on the compassion and respect brought to both mediations and the courtroom. Contact for counsel: 214-290-8001.