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No, litigation is not necessary to complete your divorce
In: Family Law0

Litigation is not necessary to complete your divorce

On behalf of Law Office of Kyle Whitaker posted in Divorce on Monday, March 13, 2017.

Anyone, whether in Texas or elsewhere, who has been through the process of dissolving his or her marriage would tell you that it can be a stressful and painful experience. Litigation certainly does not always bring out the best in people. Thankfully, for those who are ready to put in the work, there are alternatives to the traditional divorce process that would allow you to skip litigation altogether.

Collaborative law is available to Texas residents who are looking for a better way to end their marriages. This column will address what exactly a collaborative divorce is and how it can benefit your situation.

What exactly is a collaborative divorce?

The definition of collaborate is to work together. In collaborative marriage dissolutions, couples will do their best to cooperate and negotiate the terms of their divorces.

How is this different from a traditional divorce?

Those who go litigate their divorces in court often have the attitude that they need to win. This attitude, prevents many couples from achieving the settlements that they truly desire, simply because they are too busy fighting and unwilling to give in on areas that may actually benefit them.

Benefits of this process

Collaborative divorce laws in Texas allow couples to:

  • Save time
  • Save money
  • Complete divorce in an informal setting
  • Openly and honestly share information

How does the collaborative process work?

You and your spouse will each retain counsel, just like in a traditional divorce; however, all parties will be required to sign a statement of intent to collaborate rather than litigate. Meetings to negotiate the terms of the divorce will then be scheduled. Before attending those meetings, you will have the ability to discuss with your attorney what you want and what you are willing to let go.

During your scheduled negotiations sessions, you, your spouse and your attorneys will talk out acceptable terms of divorce. How long it will take to complete the process is different for everyone. Some couples are able to successfully finish the collaborative divorce process in just a few sessions, while others may take more time due to complex property, custody and support matters.

If collaborative divorce does not work, then what?

If negotiations just are not working, which does happen sometimes, traditional divorce can be pursued. Your legal counsel can provide more information about this if it becomes an issue.

Seek an attorney who is skilled in collaborative law

Alternatives to traditional divorce do work for those couples in Texas who are ready to put in the work. However, having an attorney who understands and has had success with the collaborative divorce process is key to achieving a fair and balanced settlement without litigation.