When couples decide to separate or divorce, the thought of going to court to resolve personal differences can become stressful, and it can have an uncertain outcome that may not serve the needs of either party. Typically, couples will want to avoid resolving conflicts using the court as a mediator.
Collaborative Family Law (also known as Collaborative Divorce, and Collaborative Practice) is a process which helps couples work through differences using family lawyers and other family professionals. This collaborative option gives both parties the opportunity to focus on what is important in terms of individual needs, as well as present and future family and personal expectations.
Pre- & Post-Marital Agreements
An important aspect of Collaborative Family Law is the initiation of pre- and post- marital agreements, which are executed in a consensual fashion, rather than with an oppositional attitude. Marital agreements allow couples to begin married life on firm legal ground where financial issues are discussed and confirmed legally.
When a couple agrees to Collaborative Family Law instead of litigation, they must sign a participation agreement. A participation agreement is a binding contract which stipulates that both parties will take into consideration the needs of each other as well as the children. The agreement also states that if a settlement cannot be reached the lawyers will remove themselves from the case, and help their clients make the transition to trial attorneys. In the majority of cases, Collaborative Family Law establishes an open and cooperative environment in which each party (and each respective lawyer) can work out a settlement that benefits everyone involved.
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Typically, court proceedings do not attempt to control emotions involved in divorce. The Collaborative Practice has spread rapidly across the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe, because it does address both emotion well-being and personal integrity. In Collaborative Practice, individuals tend to walk away with some semblance of dignity.
If you would like to find out more about Collaborative Family Law, please visit The Collaborative Law Institute of Texas.