Texas Collaborative Divorce – Family Law
The Collaborative Law Divorce in Texas
Divorcing couples seeking to avoid the contentious nature of traditional divorce litigation turn to collaborative law divorce as an alternative. Traditional divorce litigation takes a long time and can be very expensive. But the less stressful collaborative divorce process is quicker and allows the couple to create a customized divorce at a lower cost.
Through a collaborative divorce process a couple can negotiate how best to protect their families and preserve their assets and resources. They do not have to endure the stress associated with court hearings. This makes it more likely for a better outcome from the collaborative negotiations.
How it works
Both you and your spouse are allowed to have your own personal lawyers in collaborative law. You should focus on getting an attorney that is well trained in the collaborative divorce process. This allows for negotiations that are not adversarial.
Before the negotiations begin, both parties are expected to sign an agreement that states both of them will work collaboratively to resolve all issues and reach an agreement. But in case the parties fail to reach an agreement, the couple can go to trial with new attorneys. This means that it is in the interest of the lawyers working with the couple in the collaborative divorce process to settle the case and not go to trial.
The couple also knows that not reaching an agreement means having to pick new attorneys and educating them about their case. It is almost like starting the divorce process from scratch if they end up going to trial. That is why attorneys involved in the collaborative process ensure that couples are able to negotiate in a safe and nonstressful environment.
They get to negotiate with the help of their attorneys, and sometimes experts are brought in to try and help the couple reach an amicable resolution using a highly structured process. The parties are also expected to complete a sworn inventory under oath. They have to disclose all their assets on that inventory.
Collaborative law process is confidential
In the collaborative divorce process, each party gets to have confidential conversations with their attorney just like in traditional divorce. You can have a conversation with your attorney about how best to accomplish your goals in the case. But unlike traditional divorce, in the collaborative divorce process you get to reach your goals without destroying your relationship with your spouse.
These relationships should be maintained because obligations continue after divorce especially when there are children involved. A contentious process puts the children at risk and parents may lose respect for each other. A collaborative divorce process helps protect the children and even the extended families.
The professionals in collaborative law manage this confidential process in an office instead of a court setting. Couples are free to schedule meetings with their collaborative team when all participants are best able to meet. This is not the case in a litigation process where the court hearing is scheduled without consideration for the parties’ own schedules. A collaborative divorce process puts emotions aside and allows everyone to concentrate on generating creative solutions to resolve disputes.
Attorney Daryl Longworth is a family law attorney licensed by the State Bar of Texas. He is the senior attorney at The Longworth Law Firm in Houston, Texas. Mr. Longworth is a graduate of the University of Houston Law Center. Prior to becoming a licensed attorney focusing on divorce law and family law in Texas, Mr. Longworth was a police officer for the Houston Police Department.