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Traditional divorce versus collaborative divorce

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Carson Epes Steinbauer
Carson Epes Steinbauer

by Carson Steinbauer

Divorce is complicated and can include a high price tag.  Today, there are different options available for those seeking to end their marriage.  In Texas, couples can divorce in the traditional manner, which involves litigation, or alternatively using the collaborative process.  Weigh your options carefully before selecting which option suits you best.

Originally, one could only divorce through litigation.  Litigation is adversarial in nature and positions are established early in the case.  After the divorce is filed, each litigant conducts discovery in search of financial and other records in support of various claims.  After discovery, settlement is attempted informally or through mediation.  If settlement fails, the case is tried, and a judge or a jury decides who gets what assets as well as which parent gets custody.  This position-based process is not for everyone; placing major decisions in the hands of another can be risky.   Oftentimes, neither party receives everything wished for in the divorce.

A collaborative divorce differs from a litigated divorce in that it is interest based rather than position based.  When proceeding collaboratively, in addition to retaining individual counsel, the couple can also retain financial and mental health professionals.  These professionals form a team with the lawyers, and the team as a whole assists the couple in evaluating what is best for their family.  With this process, everyone works together cooperatively to reach informed decisions and craft a mutually beneficial settlement outside of the courtroom.

Each process has its advantages and its drawbacks.  Consult with an experienced family lawyer who will educate you on the intricacies of both types of divorce and guide you into the process that is best for you.

Hammerle Finley Law Firm. Give us a call at 972-784-0293.  We can help.

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