Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices
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and when he is old,
he will not depart
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Proverbs 22:6

What is a collaborative law divorce?

Couples may often hesitate to put an end to their marriage because they are afraid of going through the legal system. They do not know how much money and time it will take, the emotional affect it might have on their children and the possibility of having their private information revealed in court publicly may be daunting. For those who want to avoid an uncertain outcome by going through court and talk through their issues effectively without more turmoil, collaborative law divorces may hold the answer.

In a collaborative law divorce, even though a marriage is coming to end, parties recognize that they may continue to play a role in one another's life because of the intermingling of families and businesses and disputes are resolved peacefully and constructively. One of the first states to allow collaborative law divorces in the 1990s, Texas is still working on embracing the alternative to obtaining a divorce through litigation.

Though many may confuse the process with arbitration or mediation, it is not the same thing. Rather than allowing the parties to come to an agreement, as is the case in collaborative law, an arbitrator listens to both sides and comes to a decision for them.

In mediation, parties often meet for one session whereas in a collaborative law divorce, parties meet with their attorneys and one another a number of times to come to an agreement. In addition to this, as per the Family Code, lawyers who have been working with the couple during the process are disqualified from representing them in any future litigation related to family law. By taking away the threat of litigation, it is assumed that parties will work with one another to resolve their issues.

Litigation may not be the answer for every couple looking to end their marriage, as collaborative law may also not be the answer. An experienced attorney can guide Texas couples and look at their situations to determine the best course of action for them.

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