If you are considering or undergoing a divorce, collaboration is probably not the first word that comes to mind. For many people, ending a marriage is a combative, divisive process.
Luckily, collaborative law is about more than simply getting along. Here are some myths that you might have heard and some basic, factual information about the process.
Myth 1: Collaborative law is a free-for-all discussion
Texas has a law called the Collaborative Family Law Act. This law provides purpose and structure for the peaceable resolution of family law disputes.
Beyond that law, many collaborative lawyers are skilled, aggressive negotiators. Their goal in the conference room is similar to their goal in the courtroom: to methodically secure a final divorce agreement that serves the best interests of their clients.
Myth 2: Collaborative divorce is just working together
Collaborative divorces still have multiple parties in dispute. You and your spouse would probably have each have lawyers.
You might even want to work through your lawyer and not speak directly to your spouse at all. Conversely, you might decide that it is better to have everyone in the same room during discussions.
Myth 3: Collaborative law is non-binding
Divorces that you resolve through collaboration are just as permanent as those you resolve through litigation. After everyone signs the required documents, the court may include your decisions when finalizing your divorce.
Texas policy especially encourages collaborative divorce if you have to make decisions about the future of a child. Similarly, it is policy to encourage people to resolve pending court cases early through voluntary collaborative processes, forgoing the expensive, time-consuming litigation.