Collaborative Lawyers Redefine Divorce
Does every divorce or child custody case have to end in a bitter trial? While in days gone by, divorce lawyers devoted the majority of their time to preparing clients for that day of reckoning at the courthouse, times have changed. Although popular media still glorifies the drama of such trials, family law lawyers in Dallas and Fort Worth have embraced collaborative law as a smart alternative to trial.
Divorce trials put people in an adversarial framework where the only means of achieving success is at the expense of their spouse. Unfortunately, Attorneys learned that such “winner take all” conflicts at the courthouse did not lay the foundation for effective co-parenting post-divorce. Ultimately, it is the children of these divorces who pay the ultimate price when they are caught in the middle of parental conflict and bitterness caused by a bitter divorce.
What makes the collaborative divorce different? In a collaborative divorce, divorcing couples sign a Collaborative Law participation agreement that requires they do not seek any relief from a court while participating in the process. How do things get resolved without family court and a Judge? Issues are resolved through a series of four-way meetings, face to face, between the spouses and their collaborative attorneys.
Collaborative divorce requires a full and complete disclosure of marital property and debts and a meaningful exchange of ideas between the parties focus on their needs rather than seeking an advantage over the other spouse. While divorcing couples still have conflict and disagreements in collaborative divorce, the process gives them a “safe” way to systematically work on the issues without resort to personal attacks on the other spouse.
Collaborative law attorneys in Fort Worth and in Dallas are experiencing rapid growth in their practices as divorcing couples learn about the advantages of the collaborative process. Finally, divorce lawyers have found a way to be a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.
But how do you get started with a collaborative divorce? First, you need to find a family attorney who is trained in the collaborative law process.