What is Collaborative Divorce?
Now there’s another way to approach divorce. Collaborative Divorce takes your case out of the courtroom and places control of your future where it should be… in your own hands. At Schreier Housewirth Family Law we are specially trained in the collaborative divorce process and have been giving clients the benefit of this revolutionary approach to divorce for fifteen years.
Understanding Collaborative Divorce
When you agree to a Collaborative Divorce, you are agreeing that you will not ask the court to intervene in your divorce. There are no hearings, no motions filed in court. Instead, division of assets and debts, child custody and child support are all addressed in private.
Both parties and their attorneys meet face-to-face in a series of “four-way meetings” where they discuss and negotiate details of divorce such as property division, debt allocation, spousal support, co-parenting agreements and child support arrangements.
Experts like financial analysts and child psychologists may be brought into these negotiations to provide objectivity and creativity to facilitate creative solutions that are in the best interests of the children and their parents. Through the Collaborative Law process, parties can effectively resolve issues such as:
- Child Custody and Parenting Plan Development
- Child Support
- Property Division
- Other Rights and Responsibilities
These meetings are structured and supportive to allow you and your spouse to reach agreements that are personalized, creative and enduring. Once all issues have been addressed and agreed upon, a final decree of divorce is submitted to the court for entry.
While a party may “opt-out” of the Collaborative Divorce process, if that occurs, both parties must discharge their collaborative attorneys and hire litigation attorneys who will begin the adversarial process with its attendant cost, delays and animosity. This requirement places a responsibility not just on the parties, but on the collaborative lawyer him or herself, to work together towards a fair settlement that is mutually agreed upon.
Is Collaborative Law Right for You?
If the following things are important to you, Collaborative Law could be your best option:
- You want control of your own divorce process and the outcome.
- You seek a civil, respectful, creative and individual process for ending your marriage.
- You recognize the importance of future relationships — even after the divorce.
- You believe it is important to protect your children from the harm that litigation can inflict.
- You place a high value on personal responsibility for handling your divorce with dignity.
As leading Fort Worth divorce attorneys, we are proud to be on the cutting edge of Collaborative Law practice in Dallas. Through our affiliation with the Tarrant County Collaborative Professionals and the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas, we are always working to refine the Collaborative Law process in Tarrant county and to educate the public about the benefits of the Collaborative approach.
The anger, fear and anxiety of a divorce or custody case can be devastating for divorcing couples and their children. While a competitive, “winner take all” approach is a natural reaction to the pain of divorce, we are a different kind of divorce attorney, and encourage our clients to consider the long term effects of such an approach. The conventional process of divorce is, by definition, adversarial, and it can drive parties that are already separated from each other, even farther apart. Often, the bitterness of an adversarial divorce leaves lasting wounds and the children of such divorces often suffer the most.
If you don’t want your parents’ divorce and are looking for a more dignified way to survive divorce, reach out to Schreier Housewirth Family Law to learn more about Collaborative Divorce from leading divorce attorneys.