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Reaching An Agreement On Your Terms With Collaborative Divorce

Of all the couples you know that have had a marriage end in divorce or separation, how many of them will say that the process made them a better person? Unfortunately, the judicial system is not always the best at addressing personal family disputes. In every community, there are too many stories of the divorce process leaving spouses an emotional and financial wreck. However, the dissolution of a marriage does not always have to end badly.

Litigated divorce and painful legal battles aren’t the only option for unhappy spouses. There is a way for couples to be amicable throughout the process and negotiate and settle their differences without courtroom drama. Although divorcing spouses might not agree on everything at all times, the collaborative divorce process can facilitate equitable agreements on contentious issues like custody, property division and child support without the need for litigation. For many spouses pursuing an uncontested divorce, the collaborative divorce process may be the best option.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?

Collaborative divorce is a private and confidential method for achieving a divorce settlement. It primarily involves continuous negotiations, communication and mediation between both parties and their legal counsel, but it still falls within the legal protection of a traditional divorce. The benefits of resolving your issues through this process include:

  • Interest-based negotiation: Reaching a “win-win” instead of a “win-lose” settlement is the goal. Doing so enables both parties to focus on the future of their children, financial security and other mutual goals.
  • Private and discrete: Providing a safe and comfortable space for everyone involved should never be compromised. Collaborative divorce is often the best option for spouses who want to avoid the prying eyes of the public or the pressure of a courtroom without forfeiting due process and the assistance of legal professionals.
  • Family-centered: Extending efforts to make sure that the interest of all members of the family, especially the children, is safeguarded.
  • Flexible terms: Creating the terms and conditions that best suit a family varies with every divorce case. Under the guidance of a legal professional, spouses can customize the best arrangement possible and reach a mutual agreement.
  • Cost-effective: Removing the meticulous and tedious process of the traditional divorce can cut down tremendously on expenses. The collaborative divorce process can not only help save money, but it can also reduce the amount of time and effort required during the divorce process.

You can find even more information about the steps of the collaborative divorce process if this is an avenue you want to pursue.

Finding The Right Attorney For Your Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is considered new territory for many lawyers in the United States, even for those who have been practicing for years. Due to its unconventional, less formal and flexible terms, it cannot be understated that the importance of a trusted and credible attorney is crucial. Finding the right legal representative could mean the difference between a civil, peaceful divorce and a messy litigation battle.

Unlike other family law cases, collaborative divorce involves both parties working together to resolve their issues, such as those concerning child custody, property division, support and alimony, without going to court. The process is similar to mediation but occurs over a period of time, rather than trying to decide every issue in a matter of hours. The collaborative process might also include other neutral parties, such as mental health professionals and financial professionals, divorce coaches, and child specialists.

Seek Help From An Experienced Attorney

Not all divorce attorneys practice or have training in the collaborative divorce process. The collaborative divorce process gives spouses many more options than what might be available in the courtroom. The judicial system can be adversarial, placing parties directly against each other. In litigation, judges and attorneys are also rigidly bound by rules of procedure, evidence and the family code.

Attorneys who only practice litigation may focus more on the limited potential outcomes that are available at a public hearing or trial in a competitive setting. Collaborative divorce lawyers, on the other hand, work toward compromises that provide for mutual benefit, with a focus on assisting spouses in resolving matters in a healthy and productive way.

Important Qualifications To Consider

  • Locally trusted: Selecting a divorce lawyer is a very personal decision. It can be best to select someone you feel comfortable speaking to and whom you can easily reach when you have questions or concerns.
  • Honest in communication: Collaborative divorce involves building open communication between both spouses. Hiring an attorney who can properly represent you and who you can confide in and trust can truly improves the process.
  • Cost-effective: The collaborative divorce process can be affordable compared to the traditional litigation method. A lawyer looking out for your best interests can help you save on the cost of your divorce.
  • Experience in collaborative divorce and family law: Attorneys who have experience in the collaborative divorce process and in the traditional family law litigation sphere can better advise you on your options and what may be best for your family.

Contact An Attorney Who Will Look Out For You

There are hundreds of divorce lawyers in the state of Texas. Searching for an attorney that is truly concerned about the welfare of you and your family can be a good starting point on the road to divorce. Founding attorney, Alicia Lackey, of the Lackey Law Firm, P.C., is not only a collaborative divorce professional, but also a litigator who works hard to protect the rights and needs of her clients.

To schedule a consultation with us, call our offices in Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, The Woodlands, Austin and Corpus Christi* today at 888-705-0307. You may also schedule an appointment by filling out an online contact form.

Suggested Reading

Why a collaborative divorce may cost less than a traditional one

5 ways a collaborative process can make divorce easier

2 ways a collaborative divorce may help your child

*Main office is located in Austin, Texas. All office locations are staffed by appointment only.