Collaborative Law is an Alternative to Divorce Litigation

Divorce can often be very acrimonious. Disputes over property division, child custody and visitation often lead to heated confrontations. For spouses and parents seeking a more amicable alternative to a traditional contested divorce, there is a relatively new process called collaborative law.

More than half of the couples that commit their lives to one another through marriage will file for divorce, according to statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With so many couples choosing to terminate their marriages, divorce is not ‘one size fits all.’ While some couples in Texas decide to engage in an emotional courtroom battle, others may turn to a more civil form of divorce. Collaborative law continues to gain popularity as an alternative to traditional court litigation.

In a collaborative law divorce, both spouses and parents are represented by an attorney who is trained in collaborative law. Each of the parties and the attorneys sign an agreement stating it is their intention to try and resolve all issues present in the divorce without the necessity of trial. Since the agreement states that both attorneys must remove themselves from further representation of their clients in the event of trial, all of the parties involved work collaboratively toward a resolution of disputed matters. Additional methods of trial-free resolution include mediation and arbitration.

Defining Collaborative Law

Collaborative divorce allows couples to sit down with one another and discuss the terms of their divorce settlement, including topics of property division, child support, parenting plans and alimony. However, unlike mediation which is facilitated by a neutral mediator, couples going through the collaborative divorce process are accompanied by their attorneys. With personal legal representation by their side throughout the sessions, people are better able to create a fair divorce settlement. In some cases, financial advisors and psychologists can be part of the negotiation sessions as well.

When entering into the collaborative law process, couples must agree to the following:

  • Disclose all of the information pertinent to the case
  • Make decisions based on the best interest of everyone involved in the divorce, especially any children who are involved
  • Work together and compromise to reach a final settlement

If a couple cannot agree to the terms of the divorce settlement, each party must get a new attorney to represent them during court litigation. Collaborative divorce is not ideal for every couple, especially if intimidation or abuse is a factor in the case.

Collaborative Law Can Work for All Family Law Matters

If you are in need of a collaborative law attorney in Central Texas, we encourage you to contact the Vaught Law Firm. We have extensive training and experience in the field of collaborative law, and have helped numerous clients obtain a divorce, modification or relocation family law matter without the stress and acrimony of protracted litigation. We can effectively protect your rights in a collaborative law divorce, modification or relocation matter.

Couples who dissolve their marriage through collaborative divorce often end up with a better relationship than they would have if they had gone through a court battle.

Advantages of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce has many advantages over traditional court litigation and is growing in popularity among divorcing couples in the U.S. There are clear advantages to using the collaborative divorce process to create a settlement and terminate a marriage. Negotiating and creating a divorce decree through the collaborative process can be quicker and less expensive than through the court system. Some couples can finalize their settlement within just three or four sessions. Rather than wait for a court-appointed date, couples have more flexibility in scheduling their sessions.

Couples who dissolve their marriage through collaborative divorce often end up with a better relationship than they would have if they had gone through a court battle. This is especially helpful for parents or business partners who must maintain a relationship post-divorce.

photo of the vaught law firm staff

Finding the Right Legal Partner

Before entering into the collaborative divorce process, you need to make sure you have the right legal partner who will look after your family’s best interests. You may want to seek the legal assistance of an attorney in Austin who will listen to the details of your case and point you in the right direction.

Pictured: Paralegal Candi Wilson, Attorney Leigh de la Reza, Attorney Jimmy Vaught, Attorney Lisa L. Stewart, Paralegal Renee Wettengal

Contact the Vaught Law Firm

Call us at 512-342-9980 or complete our online form to arrange a confidential consultation with our attorneys.