The adversarial justice system ensures that the accused can push back, and fight allegations brought by the state. But that system rarely produces an equitable result when families go through a divorce. In many instances, one or both spouses find themselves in difficult post-divorce financial circumstances. Strained budgets typically lead to selling a family home and displacing children from school systems, friends, and the community they’ve grown to appreciate. That’s why an increased number of people are using the Collaborative Divorce process in Texas. This non-adversarial process is steadied by an attorney who keeps a watchful eye on long-term financial stability.
How Collaborative Divorce Works
In a Collaborative Divorce, techniques such as mediation, negotiation, and problem-solving are employed to resolve sticking points. This differs from the “fight to win” hostilities of contentious divorces that are typically marked by excessive courtroom litigation. In order to enter into a fruitful collaborative process, it’s essential that the divorcing parties demonstrate a willingness to negotiate in good faith and compromise when necessary. The following outlines common Collaborative Divorce steps.
- Each party hires an attorney with Collaborative Divorce experience.
- Each party meets privately with their attorney to discuss realistic expectations.
- The parties and their attorneys meet as needed to negotiate a detailed divorce settlement.
- A private agreement is drafted and filed with the court.
Collaborative Divorce places an emphasis on both parties having the best long-term financial prosperity possible. The Collaborative Divorce process includes a financial neutral whose role is to help both parties maximize post-marriage resources.
When Should You Work with A Collaborative Divorce Attorney?
An experienced lawyer will tell you that in a contested divorce there are no winners. There are only degrees of losing. Those losses include bank accounts, retirement resources, the family home, and an ability to effectively co-parent free of animosity going forward.
Collaborative Divorce operates under the idea that while you are no longer going to be married that there is ability to exit the relationship in a reasonable fashion. This is particularly important when the following financial issues are necessary to create a robust life after marriage.
- Family Home: The children of divorcing parents generally navigate this major shift best when disruption is minimized. By working through sometimes challenging living space decisions, homes may not need to be sold until after children reach adulthood, if at all.
- Retirement Accounts: Many push for an equitable division of retirement benefits at the time of the divorce. But if one or both parties are not ready to retire, Collaborative Divorce opens the door to create solutions that put real dollars in your pocket.
- Business Ownership: In an adversarial divorce, each party gathers documentation to fight for a maximum benefit from a business investment. The process often skews the true value to benefit one party more than another. Collaborative Divorce negotiations favor arriving at a fair dollar amount, creative distribution, and may bring in a neutral third party to secure an accurate valuation.
Leveraging the Collaborative Divorce option reduces legal fees, stress, anxiety, and the hard feelings that can negatively impact co-parenting. It also allows you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to arrive at a neutral settlement that maximizes long-term financial health.
There’s no reason to engage in expensive and hostile divorce litigation that ultimately takes decision-making out of your hands. If you are willing to work through the Collaborative Divorce process, your post-marriage financial security can be improved.