As a young person, I came of age during the end of the Cold War. During this time, the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in an arm’s race with each other that involved an ever-increasing stock pile of nuclear weaponry. The ability to utterly destroy each other ten times or perhaps even a hundred times over was part of a military strategy and national security policy called “MAD,” an acronym for “Mutually Assured Destruction”. The theory was that the use of nuclear weapons by … [Read more...]
Integrating Mediation into the Collaborative Divorce Model
Collaborative Divorce is an innovative option of dispute resolution for divorcing couples, built upon a highly specific road map for negotiation. The parties’ goals and interests are the centerpiece of this road map, around which clients provide and review all relevant information then, with the support of their attorney and allied professional team members, creatively seek options for resolution of each issue. While this structured design focuses on self determination, it also allows for … [Read more...]
Do Divorcing People Have to Act Crazy?
Ever known someone who went through a divorce, and they acted like a crazy person? Bet you have. So have I. Wives who cut the crotches out of their husband’s best pants. Husbands who threw their wives’ wedding and engagement rings into the nearest lake. Wives who let their husband’s favorite dog loose on the street. As Rex Harrison – who played the King of Siam opposite Irene Dunne in the 1940’s movie “Anna and The King of Siam” – said: “etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.” Let’s face it, a … [Read more...]
Why Does Collaborative Divorce Work?
Why does collaborative divorce work? The answer depends on who you ask. Lawyers may say it works because it gets the lawyers and judges out of the way. Clients may say it works because of the control it gives them over their divorces, estates and children. Neutral professionals may say it works because they can bring their one-on-one expertise to bear. My view is different and it is this – it’s none of the above nor any other of the umpteen reasons we might give why … [Read more...]
3 Creative Ways to Divide a Marital Estate
For couples facing a divorce, it is often a time filled with feelings of sadness over the loss of the marriage relationship and anxieties about the future. These feelings can be further exacerbated when there is substantial marital debt. There are no easy answers for these situations, but in “no court” settlement processes, such as collaborative divorce, couples can often creatively approach the topic of their debts and develop options for resolution that are not usually available in … [Read more...]
Is Collaborative Divorce Right for You?
If you are facing a divorce, or thinking about filing for divorce, you may have discovered that there are several different paths you can follow in a divorce. The traditional path is litigation and just about any attorney can help you with that. Some people are choosing to do it themselves, without an attorney. That can work in very simple cases. Others focus on mediation, which is a good process, but attorneys should be involved. It is most often used in litigated cases. The newest process is … [Read more...]
5 Good Reasons NOT to Choose a Collaborative Divorce
1. You want more enemies It is true that there is no guarantee that going through the litigation process will result in your spouse being your eternal enemy and no guarantee that going through the collaborative process will result in your spouse being respectful of you forever. But, reality is that no one likes to answer detailed, accusatory questions about themselves, and those types of things can and do happen routinely in the litigation process. Both detailed written discovery and … [Read more...]
The Best Way to Divorce in Texas
What’s the best way to divorce in Texas? You have two options: a collaborative divorce or litigation. A litigated divorce offers only three benefits, including forced discovery, a restraining order against family violence and a court ordered settlement. The collaborative process offers many benefits, including privacy, lower cost, transparency, client control, convenience, preserving family relationships, protecting children, allowing creative settlement solutions and minimizing post-divorce … [Read more...]
Certification is Key to Collaborative Success
A challenging aspect to the collaborative divorce practice is the lack of expertise displayed in numerous attorneys participating in collaborative cases. At this point, any family lawyer can decide to dabble: but if the collaborative case doesn’t settle, the ripple effect greatly damages the overall process. The probability of a case terminating because it cannot reach settlement directly correlates with the lawyer’s collaborative experience and genuine commitment to the … [Read more...]
Isn’t Litigation the Best Option If I Don’t Trust My Spouse?
How can I know if my spouse is hiding assets? Full Collaborative Disclosure is the answer. How can you be certain your spouse has disclosed all marital assets during a divorce? The answer depends on how you divorce. In a litigated divorce, there is no duty of full disclosure, while in a collaborative divorce, spouses agree to voluntarily disclose all relevant information. A financially complex divorce generates conflict and may produce dishonesty as each spouse tries to get what they feel is … [Read more...]