Filing for a Collaborative Divorce in Texas

A collaborative divorce is a relatively recent (within the last ten years) approach to getting a Texas divorce. In 2001, the Texas legislature changed the family code to permit this type of divorce. In this process, both parties agree ahead of time to resolve all of their differences without going to court. This course of action involves not only Texas divorce attorneys, but also other professionals, such as financial planners, therapists, and mental health experts. The goal is to reorganize the family in such a way that each member gets most of what they need.

With collaborative divorces in Texas spouses work together to resolve divorce issues and to move through the divorce process as quickly as possible. There is no calculated “game playing” that can sometimes accompany divorces in Texas when one spouse tries to “win at any and all costs.”  If a dispute cannot be resolved, Texas divorce attorneys are still permitted to take the case to Texas divorce court. Both parties come together and sign an agreement to work out a solution to the most controversial subjects such as child support, child custody, alimony and division of property.

The collaborative divorce process in Texas should be planned. The first course of action should be to find a divorce lawyer in Texas for each spouse who is trained in collaborative law. This professional is skilled in resolving conflicts and is able to move the process along so that both parties can be satisfied.

Next, both participants should sign an agreement promising to work out their differences without going to divorce court. Each spouse should then provide all information required to their Texas divorce attorney so that they can begin to resolve conflicts. Honesty and openness is a necessity. For example, if one spouse is dishonest about an asset, the other spouse will receive one hundred percent control of that asset. Unbiased professionals may be needed to help determine matters related to finances and/or children. After each side has had the chance to argue their case, an agreement may be reached which will be the foundation for the final divorce decree.

Many people prefer the control they have in a collaborative divorce. Filing a collaborative divorce in Texas can save divorcing couples from an open court clash where a judge may determine child custody or financial issues. These clients also choose the collaborative method because it is much less expensive than the traditional divorce process in Texas.

There are some drawbacks to a collaborative divorce in Texas. It is a voluntary course of action; nobody can make the other spouse take part, or for that matter, act in good faith. Unprincipled divorce lawyers and clients sometimes attempt to use the collaborative divorce process to gain advantage over their spouse. They do not intend to stick to the code of conduct or abide by the agreed upon rules.

Despite the possible drawbacks of the Texas collaborative divorce process, it still remains a highly attractive solution for many families in need of a new direction. If you would like more information regarding collaborative divorces or help in locating a divorce lawyer, we would be happy to assist you.