Collaborative law is an interdisciplinary porce process defined by statute in the State of Texas. It is for people who are unable to negotiate and agree to porce terms on their own but who wish to settle the case outside of court. This process also allows each spouse to have their own legal advocate as well as neutral professionals that strives to guide the parties to a legal, financial, emotional and fair result that protects their interest. The most definitive aspect of collaborative law is that the professionals that are involved in a collaborative law case do not participate in litigation.
Collaborative law is an approach to porce whereby both parties commit to wanting to settle their case outside of the court process. The case proceeds by a series of meetings in offices, not at the courthouse. In addition to each party having a collaboratively trained attorney, there is generally one mental health professional who is part of the team working in the role of a family communication specialist (not a therapist). Often there is also a financial specialist whose role is to make sure everyone understands the financial estate and economic repercussions of any settlement.
While the collaborative lawyers are advocating on behalf of their clients within the process, the specialist(s) role is a neutral one. It is exceptionally helpful for people to make decisions about their case when they feel that they are getting neutral information. While it may seem expensive to have so many professionals as part of the porce process, there are many tasks that the professionals can do, that the attorneys then don't have to do. When that happens, you are paying one person at a lesser hourly rate to do a task that normally two attorneys would perform. That saves money. The cost of a collaborative law compares favorably with a moderately litigated case and allows the parties to maintain control.
In collaborative law the process is very scripted and it is easy to know at any point in the process where you have been and where you are going. While not for everyone, collaborative law is a fantastic choice for people who want a truly custom porce that is respectful and forward focused. Collaborative law is a niche product. There are attorneys who advertise the process, but they neither believe in it, nor are they skillful at it.
If you're interested in more information about the Collaborative Law Process for your porce and you live in the DFW, Texas area call my office for an appointment (817-285-2855). Also, Collaborativepractice.com and Collablawtexas.com are great websites that can explain more about the process. I suggest reading through those sites before even seeing an attorney.
For Smart Divorce in Texas
Diane M. Wanger
304 Harwood Road
Bedford, Texas 76021