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Keeping divorce out of the courtroom

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2021 | Mediation & Collaborative Law |

Divorces are too often needlessly painful and unnecessarily drawn out. A litigated divorce will put the two sides in opposite corners, which means that if children are involved, they will be trapped in the middle. Sadly, when divorce goes to court, old wounds often open up and conflicts that existed during the marriage play out in a public setting.

Fortunately, Texas provides less confrontational approaches to divorce in which both sides can resolve their differences in private. One of these is the collaborative divorce process.

Collaborative divorce is a non-litigated alternative to traditional divorce that is not only less expensive, but also allows both parties to have more control over the terms of their divorce settlement. For Texas residents who are seeking a smoother, more amicable approach to divorce, finding an experienced collaborative law attorney who can present options is an important first step.

The collaborative divorce process

The collaborative divorce process is one of several alternative dispute resolution methods that has become very popular in recent years. For couples who wish to avoid a litigated divorce but who prefer the support of their attorneys during the process, the collaborative divorce is the best way to go.

In the collaborative divorce process, attorneys trained in collaborative law are present on both sides as part of an interdisciplinary team that is focused on the needs of their clients. While factoring in the priorities of their clients, the main objective of the attorneys is to negotiate a divorce settlement that will have a positive outcome for both sides.

At the outset, the attorneys sign a contract that states that they will not litigate the outcome of the proceeding. If the parties cannot come to a settlement agreement and decide to go to court, both lawyers agree to withdraw from the case.

The team often includes a mental health professional who is there to monitor the emotional needs of both parties and offer support as they process very strong feelings, which may include mitigating the effects of emotional triggers that could potentially derail the negotiations. There may be other experts present, such as child custody specialists or accountants.

A hallmark of the collaborative divorce process is that, as an interest-based negotiation, it allows both sides to come away with something of value, which leads to a win-win outcome that will allow the spouses to amicably preserve their relationship after divorce. Not only does this help the healing process, it will make them better co-parents later on.