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Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce occurs when the parties go through the process of divorce while engaging third-party services that allow the parties to come to an agreement. Collaborative divorce is less adversarial and does not involve a judge until the final approval. The parties have agreed to work together in good faith to dissolve their divorce in the most amicable way possible. If you are interested in using this approach to dissolve your marriage, speak with a Missouri City collaborative divorce lawyer. Our divorce attorneys could help you through this process and make sure you come to an amicable solution.

What Is Unique About Collaborative Divorces?

Collaborative divorces allow parties from the very beginning of their divorce, to come together to try to craft a solution in a way that benefits both parties. At every stage of the collaborative divorce, the parties and their Missouri City attorneys are in communication, and they agree to work things out in good faith should there be any hiccups or disruptions in the process. This could mean that the couple hires a financial planner there to help the parties divide the estate, any joint bank accounts, retirement and any other shared assets. Additionally, in a collaborative divorce, the parties may attend mediation to work through other parts of the case that need to be discussed and finalized. For example, this may include child support and possession schedules.

A couple may desire a collaborative divorce over another method because it is the most non-adversarial approach. They are working together to craft the best solution for that particular couple’s issues or situations as opposed to a fault-based divorce where the parties rely upon a third party to make a final decision if they cannot come to an agreement themselves.

Who Is Involved In A Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce typically includes the filing party, the responding party, and their respective Missouri City lawyers. There is typically a mediator that is involved at some point through the process as well. A couple may choose to hire a financial planner, especially if they have vast amounts of property holdings. This person would handle the financial portions of their divorce. Once this aspect of the divorce is finalized, the parties work on other more substantial things like child support and possession schedules.

If spouses in a collaborative divorce have children, they would work with a mediator to come to an agreement about the visitation schedule as well as child support. The parties could agree to have a 50-50 visitation schedule or an alternative schedule that works better for their situation. The main difference between a collaborative model and other approaches is that parents make these decisions through mediation. Whereas, in a noncollaborative divorce, the parties are not required to go to mediation unless required by the county.

What Is The General Process?

This process begins once one party files as the petitioner and then the other party would receive a copy of the petition. What is different about a collaborative divorce is that the parties are more aware of the fact that one person is going to file for divorce. The divorce is agreed upon, and then the parties just try to work through it from the time of filing.

This process can typically take several months, but if the parties get through everything within a reasonable amount of time, they could finalize their divorce after the 60-day waiting period. Therefore, if the couple has everything together by the 61st day, then they can present their final order to the judge for approval. In general, this process can be as fast or as slow as the parties really want.

Issues involving property such as if there is a dispute over whether something’s community property could extend the process of a collaborative divorce. Other areas that typically cause delays are child issues and possession schedules. A lawyer in Missouri City could help a person through the collaborative divorce process.

Potential Disadvantages

Some of the disadvantages of a collaborative divorce include a party feeling like they are pigeonholed into making a decision. If they feel like they are making a good-faith effort and the other party is not, that it may make it more difficult for a person to actually have a good experience with this approach. Collaborative divorces only work if both parties go forth in good faith, meaning they actually make an effort to try to work things out. If one party is being deceptive, then that really takes away from the benefit of collaborative law, and it does not help the parties move anything forward.

Retain A Missouri City Collaborative Divorce Attorney

Just like in any other case, it is the attorney’s responsibility to make sure that they are looking out for their client’s interests and to make sure that they understand the law with regard to what is happening with property and/or children. For example, if the parties do not understand the difference between separate property and community property, the lawyers should be there to explain those differences and to help the parties know how to designate made such items. Reach out today by calling our Houston office at 713-714-3710 or our Austin office at 512-572-1207.