Texas couples preparing for divorce often dread the complications and stress that they believe is an inevitable part of ending a marriage. While there is really is no such thing as an easy divorce, it is possible to minimize the contention in a way that allows for a more peaceful and cooperative divorce.
The collaborative divorce process is an option for couples who wish to avoid a costly and lengthy court battle. By working together per the terms of a participation agreement, collaboration allows both parties to have their voices heard and maintain more control over a final divorce order.
What you need to know about the collaborative process
In a traditional divorce, one spouse will bring a lawsuit against the other. This initiates a back-and-forth process of discovery requests, responses and much more. Even an amicable traditional divorce can be agonizingly slow and complicated.
In a collaborative divorce, both parties will sign a participation agreement before they begin. With each party retaining their own legal representation, the following will happen:
- The two spouses and their attorneys will sit down for face-to-face discussions.
- Terms of the divorce order will develop out of the discussions and negotiations.
- Parents can specifically address special needs regarding child custody and property division.
- Parties must share information freely, per the participation agreement.
Collaborative divorces generally cost less and take less time than traditional divorce. This allows parents to work cooperatively for the sake of their kids and ensure that unique issues specific to the family receive appropriate consideration. While there are many benefits to a collaborative divorce, it is not always the best choice for every couple.
Is this the right choice for me?
This option can provide many people with a better way to divorce, but how can you know if it is the right choice for you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse? You will find it beneficial to consider how well you and your spouse can work together and if both parties are willing to abide by the terms of the participation agreement.
If the collaborative process breaks down for any reason, the two parties must find new legal representation. They will then begin over again with a traditional divorce process. Before you choose collaboration, you would be wise to discuss this option with both your spouse and your attorney in order to make the decision best suited for your family. Divorce can be difficult, but there are ways to walk through this process with less stress and more peace of mind.