Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices
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Does a collaborative law approach differ from a traditional one?

It is generally not easy for couples in Texas to decide that they want to put an end to their marriages and when they think about the amount of time they might have to spend in courts in pursuit of their divorces, it seems like an additional headache. In addition to this, it is possible that an amicable relationship between the divorcing couple is affected by the bitterness that sometimes accompanies a divorce trial. To avoid these situations, it may be possible for couples to forgo the litigation process altogether and consider getting a collaborative law divorce.

Perhaps the biggest difference in a traditional litigated divorce and a collaborative one is that in a collaborative law divorce, a couple is working towards finding a solution for their specific needs, without assigning the blame to any one party. Since collaborative law is a structured process that in itself is designed in a way to promote settlement, parties have a sort of a roadmap they can follow to get to their settlement. Couples decide on the pace at which they want to proceed, and have more control over the process than they would have in either mediation or litigation.

Couples are encouraged to treat each other with respect and cooperate with one another, providing each other with the information required to reach an amicable settlement, rather than being pitted against one another as couples generally are in the traditional model.

Couples in a collaborative setting may have access to other skilled professionals, such as financial and mental health experts, who give advice to the couple as a whole, rather than battling with one another's opinions in courts. This means experts actually help couples come to a solution, rather than confuse or distress them even more by giving disparate opinions. Collaborative law divorces require parties to work together and come to a solution that suits everyone involved and can be more cost and time effective than litigation.

Source: Collaborative Law Institute of Texas, "Compare Collaborative law to other dispute resolution methods," Accessed on Aug. 17, 2015

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