The Texas legislature amended the Family Code in 2001 to give divorcing couples in Texas the option of getting a collaborative divorce. A collaborative divorce is a highly structured, non-adversarial, non-court process that helps couples identify mutually-acceptable solutions to the issues in their divorce, protect their families, and end their marriages with integrity and with their dignity intact.
If you and your spouse decide to pursue a collaborative divorce you will each hire your own collaborative divorce attorneys, who will each have received extensive training in the collaborative process and with their help and guidance, the two of you together will also hire a neutral mental health professional and a neutral financial professional, who will work for both of you. The two neutrals will also have been trained in the collaborative process.
The mental health professional will be a licensed counselor or social worker, who specializes in working with families, or a marriage and family therapist. The financial professional will most likely be a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or a CPA. The two neutrals together with your attorneys will act as your divorce team – sort of like your divorce consultants – providing you and your spouse with guidance, advice, support and ideas.
One of the most important aspects of a collaborative divorce is that everyone agrees, up-front, that going to court is not an option and that no one will even threaten the other with a court action. Therefore, if you and your spouse opt for a collaborative divorce and later decide that you want to take your divorce to court, under the terms of your agreement, your attorneys will have to withdraw from your case and you’ll have to hire new attorneys. For this reason, everyone involved in a collaborative divorce is highly motivated to reach a negotiated settlement.
Contact us today to learn more about the collaborative divorce process and the numerous ways you could benefit from a collaborative divorce.