The Collaborative Divorce Process
When many read or hear about the collaborative divorce process, they might think it is only for those couples who already agree on everything. That is simply not the case. In fact, the collaborative divorce process may be the best way for the most contested divorces to actually reach an outcome that works best for everyone involved.
The process is non-adversarial, despite the spouses’ history, and redirects the focus from vindication or punishment to the needs and interests of the parties, and especially those of any children involved. To be considered a collaborative divorce, all parties and professionals must agree to follow the guidelines set out by the participation agreement and the law.
Step 1: Qualifying For Collaborative Divorce
Ask your attorney about the collaborative divorce process to decide if this is the right option for your case. Chances are, if you are interested in a divorce that preserves your ability to transition in a healthy way into the next stage of your life, a collaborative divorce might be something to seriously consider.
Step 2: Finding The Right Legal Representative
When interviewing an attorney to retain for your divorce, ask about the collaborative divorce experience. Generally, both parties have an attorney during the process, and preferably they have experience and knowledge of family law and the collaborative divorce process. A lawyer who can cooperate well with the other party and safeguard your interests can be invaluable.
Step 3: Signing A Collaborative Participation Agreement
If all parties decide to use the collaborative divorce process, the attorneys will prepare the participation agreement. This agreement is binding on the parties and on all the professionals that sign the participation agreement, including the neutral experts. During the process, neutral experts such as financial advisors, child custody specialists, psychiatrists, accountants and others can be jointly retained by parties to prevent any bias.
Step 4: Following The Collaborative Law Procedure
Once the agreement to follow the collaborative divorce process is made, the parties and collaborative team start the work on the case, outside the pressure or interference of the court, and away from the public eye. From there, it is up to the parties and collaborative team to attend meetings, strike agreements, and keep an open communication until they reach a conclusion.
Step 5: Finalizing The Decree Of Divorce
Once the parties resolve all the issues in the case with the assistance of the collaborative team, the court is presented the agreement for approval. In the event an agreement cannot be reached, relief from the court is still available, under the terms of the participation agreement and the law. However, statistics are clear that more often than not, the collaborative divorce process leads to an uncontested or agreed divorce.
To Learn More, Contact Lackey Law Firm, P.C.
To find out if this process is right for you, call the firm’s main office in Austin or the firm’s Fredericksburg location at 888-705-0307. You may also schedule a consultation by completing the online contact form.
*Main office is located in Austin, Texas. All office locations are staffed by appointment only.