This article is from Dick Price, founder of the Price Law Firm in Fort Worth and author of the Texas Collaborative Law Blog.
What if, one day, you could construct your future? If you were given the opportunity to take a clean slate and add details of your future life, what would you include? I imagine it might include these items:
Even though they may not realize it at the time, people going through divorce are given this opportunity, to varying degrees. There are obviously some limitations, such as money, prior obligations, age and timing, among others. Sometimes it’s hard to reverse course, but divorce is a great time for focus and renewal. It’s hard emotionally, but there are opportunities.
Why not stop and consider how you want your life to be post-divorce?
There are three very common ways that divorces happen.
1) A hotly-contested divorce: Here, the couples are fighting for survival. Their focus is on the fight, not the future. There are only limited opportunities for a good life because the battle can be so draining. They often burn up their resources in the fight.
2) An average litigated divorce: In these cases, the parties often get worn down and end up accepting standardized terms and follow the Family Code’s guidelines. These people don’t really look into the future. Their questions tend to be “What does the law allow?”, rather than “What would I like to do?”. They are just trying to get through the process.
3) Collaborative divorce: From the beginning, the parties are asked to look at the future and define their goals, needs and interests. There is a focus on the best possible outcomes for you and your family, including creating new solutions. The emphasis is on you and your needs, rather than standardized outcomes.
Given these three options, which do you think would be best for you?
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