Some couples are better off apart, but that doesn’t mean they can’t stand each other. Traditional divorce can turn these disenchanted spouses into bitter enemies, an outcome that’s not good for them or their families. For these couples, a collaborative divorce may prove the best way to dissolve their marriage. Collaborative divorce focuses on a respectful approach to marriage dissolution. It’s a civilized way to get through what could otherwise become a nasty process.
Divorce Options in Texas
Divorcing Texas couples have three different modes of ending their marriage. There’s traditional divorce litigation, which often brings out the worst in everyone. There’s mediation, which involves only the couple and their respective lawyers, and there’s collaborative divorce. The latter consists of the couple and their attorneys, along with a financial consultant and counselor. These last two parties are neutral, professionals trained in collaborative divorce proceedings. Everyone participates, and communication is critical.
Collaborative Divorce Advantages
Collaborative divorce is private. There’s no need to go into the courtroom, with a judge deciding your fate and the litigation part of the public record. It’s a less expensive procedure than other divorce options. Couples with children can work together to ensure their kids have the best situation possible once the family no longer lives together. It also helps avoid other family members taking sides, which can poison the future for all concerned. When it’s over, the only reason to appear in court is to give the approved Final Decree to the judge for approval, which should take all of five minutes.
There’s one other advantage. Sometimes, one of the spouses would rather reconcile than divorce. The collaborative approach, with both sides talking to each other, favors that possibility. Occasionally, collaborative divorce turns into one of those divorces that just didn’t pan out. Even if there’s no hope for reconciliation, the bitterness so common in many situations may turn into a more friendly divorce.
With traditional litigation, parties must appear in court or at depositions when they are ordered to do so, not when it is convenient for them. That’s not the case with collaborative divorce, which offers much more flexibility.
You likely have retirement plans and estate plans. Think of collaborative divorce as a divorce plan. The financial professional involved in your collaborative divorce process will recommend various options, so each party receives an equitable financial settlement. As in other types of financial planning, the tax implications are discussed. The marital assets, such as the family home or business, receive valuations. Plans are prepared for the future needs of children, along with cash-flow plans for each spouse.
Not for Everybody
Collaborative divorce isn’t for everybody. If domestic violence has occurred, or one spouse earns far more money than the other, collaborative divorce is not the way to go. The same holds true if the marriage is breaking up because of substance abuse or mental health issues.
Contact a Qualified DFW Divorce Attorney
Even the most amicable divorce is difficult, and the circumstances can change. Anyone going through a collaborative divorce needs a lawyer specializing in family law. If you are in need of an experienced divorce attorney, call Alison Grant, Attorney at Law or contact her online.