At the Law Office of Roland R. Esparza, PC, we know that times have changed. Many divorcing couples in Texas today no longer wish to engage in a lengthy, costly and acrimonious court battle and prefer a more amicable divorce approach. Nevertheless, divorce is never easy, and each party wants the comfort of his or her own attorney looking out for his or her best interests. If you and your spouse fit this description, a collaborative divorce may be just what you are looking for.
FindLaw explains that a collaborative divorce is one in which you and your spouse each retains your own respective attorney, but neither you nor they hurl accusations at each other across a crowded courtroom. Instead, all four of you hold a series of meetings in an out-of-court location. At these meetings, you and your spouse resolve your own issues and your respective attorneys guide you through the negotiation process while ensuring that neither of you disrespects the other.
The collaborative divorce process
Prior to the joint meetings, you and your spouse each meets with your own attorney in private. This is your opportunity to lay out your issues, concerns and fears regarding your upcoming divorce, and also to discuss the issues on which you are prepared to compromise.
If you and your spouse are like most divorcing couples, your issues probably include the following:
- Which, if either, of you will have primary custody of your children
- Which of you will pay child support
- What your post-divorce parenting plan will include
- Which, if either, of you will pay spousal support to the other
- How you will divide your marital assets
- Which, if either, of you will remain in the family home
You and your spouse then proceed to resolve these issues, plus any others that you have, by yourselves rather than leaving these life-changing decisions up to a judge. Your respective attorneys act as your guides and facilitators while keeping both Texas law and your respective best interests firmly in mind. They also provide you the cooperative, nonstressful atmosphere in which to negotiate and compromise.
Benefits and rewards
Not only is a collaborative divorce far less stressful than a traditional litigated divorce, it also takes less time and can cost up to 40 percent less. In addition, you and your spouse reap the great benefit of retaining control over your respective lives by reaching your own mutually agreeable resolutions. In addition, your children benefit from seeing their parents working together to solve their problems even though their marriage is breaking up.
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