Texans going through a divorce often feel that their lives have veered out of control. The end of a long relationship can turn their world upside down, especially if children are involved.
If you are facing the possibility of a divorce, you will not want to leave your future to chance. There are alternatives that can put you in the driver’s seat instead of leaving the outcome in the hands of a judge.
Resolving conflicts out of court
More and more people understand that taking control of the divorce process can be a better route than going to court. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) offers both parties a way to find a reasonable agreement and avoid litigation entirely. Two ADR methods include:
- Mediation: Spouses meet with their attorneys and a neutral third party who is specially trained in dispute resolution. This allows direct negotiations between the parties and steered by the mediator to resolve questions over property division, custody, child support and spousal maintenance.
- Collaborative law: Each spouse has an attorney representing their interests, but all are committed to the collaborative process in order to reach an agreement. The collaborative team may include a financial and/or a mental health professional to help the parties identify their interests and seek solutions that work for the family in the future. The tone of these meetings is to troubleshoot and find solutions, not to fight or “beat” the other.
What are the benefits of a collaborative divorce?
A number of advantages can be realized when choosing the collaborative process. Despite lowering the temperature of emotions associated with divorce, working together can add benefits such as:
- Saving time and money
- Allowing both parties – not the court – to set their schedule
- Discussions involve open and honest exchanges of ideas and information
- Creating a model for handling post-divorce disputes
- Being a more humane process than litigation
An added incentive is that all parties sign a “no court” agreement directing both attorneys to withdraw from the case if it goes to litigation, meaning both spouses must start over with new lawyers.
Stay in control of your divorce
The chief benefit of choosing a collaborative divorce is preserving the good things you built together – your family. Experienced attorneys understand that you may need financial experts and mental health professionals to address issues that can often become acrimonious.
Even though your marriage may be over, the collaborative process is private, sets a positive tone for future parenting relationships and keeps you in control to find creative solutions that meet your family’s unique needs.