How the Collaborative Divorce Approach Works
Often, when your marriage comes to an end, you don't want to keep fighting with your ex—you've probably been doing that for a while. You just want it to be over, quickly and without a lot of expense and bitterness. The collaborative divorce process can help you cooperatively come to resolutions and move forward with your life.
In the collaborative divorce process, both parties agree to use their best efforts to resolve all differences without the intervention of the court. This does not mean, however, that you are on our own. You have the right to be retained by counsel and should exercise that right. However, you and your attorney agree that you will seek to negotiate workable settlements regarding child custody and visitation, child support, alimony or spousal support, and the division of marital debts and assets. You may work directly with your ex-spouse, or have all communications go through your lawyer, but you do not seek any rulings from a judge or jury.
In many collaborative divorce proceedings, the parties agree to bring in and rely on experts, including financial planners, family therapists and others, so that they can identify the best possible solutions. If you come to agreement on all issues, you will have an agreement drafted and entered with the court, which can be enforceable in court. If, however, you cannot agree on all matters, and must seek a ruling from the court, or must resort to litigation, you must terminate the representation by your current attorney and hire new divorce counsel.
The collaborative process offers a number of benefits. First, because you are working outside the court, you do not have to try to get on the court's docket, which can save a substantial amount of time. In addition, there is typically no discovery in a collaborative proceeding, which means that you don't have to pay a lawyer to prepare for and attend depositions, to request and review documents, and to question witnesses. Though you want to come to agreement without the involvement of the court, you do not have to accept any offer made by your ex-spouse. In fact, the collaborative process is well-suited to allow you to fully participate in the determination of remedies, rather than forcing you to accept a ruling by a third party.
Contact Pfister Borserine & Associates
At Pfister Borserine & Associates, we have protected the rights of people across north Texas for more than 20 years. Board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, attorney John J. Pfister, Jr. understands that every case is different and will take the time to learn the details of your situation. We will then carefully craft an individualized approach to help you get the outcome you want.