When it comes to divorce, most people believe that they really have only one option: resolve every issue in a courtroom. While this is certainly a viable (and sometimes necessary) option, it may not be the best option given your circumstances.
Remember that a prolonged legal battle can take a significant amount of time, result in steep legal fees, exact a large emotional toll and alienate your children.
Fortunately, those couples who are divorcing but who wish to avoid the trials and tribulations of ending their marriage in a courtroom have two equally effective alternatives at their disposal: mediation and collaborative law.
Today’s post will briefly examine the benefits of collaborative law. Please see the previous posts, “Divorce Mediation: A Viable Alternative to Traditional Divorce” and “Divorce Mediation: A Viable Alternative to Traditional Divorce – II,” for more information on the mediation process.
I’ve heard quite a bit about collaborative law. What exactly is it?
Simply put, collaborative law (like mediation) is a less costly and less combative method of dissolving your marriage.
In collaborative law, the former spouses and their attorneys meet in a private, neutral location to resolve important divorce issues without the involvement of either a judge or jury.
These issues include:
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Child custody
- Property division
Collaborative law sessions are run by the former spouses and their attorneys. All parties work together to facilitate both a constructive dialogue and mutual cooperation.
What’s the primary benefit of collaborative law?
In collaborative law, all parties – including the attorneys – sign a binding document known as a “participation agreement.” This document not only establishes the framework for how the sessions are to unfold, but also mandates that the parties resolve all issues outside of the courtroom.
In fact, the participation agreement contains a damages clause that expressly states that if the talks break down and the divorce heads to court, both attorneys will have to withdraw from the case. Consequently, all parties have a vested interest in keeping the collaborative law sessions moving forward.
To be continued …
Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …
To learn more about divorce mediation or collaborative law, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.
This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
Is There A ‘Minimally-Invasive’ Divorce? (The Huffington Post)