Understanding Collaborative Law In Texas Divorce Matters
Understanding Collaborative Law In Texas Divorce Matters
Disputes between you and your spouse during the divorce litigation process can wear on both your emotions and your finances.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the negative impact a divorce has on your life. Attorney Donna J. Smiedt often recommends a collaborative law approach.
Why do so many clients turn to our Arlington, TX, family law firm during this difficult process?
With the help of a collaborative professional, it is possible to resolve your differences during the divorce process in a cost-effective way that actually saves time and money when compared to more traditional methods. This type of approach allows you and your spouse to maintain an element of control over the final decision made. This collaborative method of family law can minimize disputes, promotes a sense of cohesiveness, and allows both parties to emerge from the case without feelings of despair or resentment toward their former spouse.
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At The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt, our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys can explain the details of how collaborative divorce works during your initial consultation. Ms. Smiedt has been practicing law for over 30 years and has helped many families through disputes and other difficult times as a divorce counselor and attorney. Our collaborative lawyers can review your case, and advise you as to whether a collaborative approach is a viable option for you.
Collaborative law is complicated. It is important to hire an attorney who not only understands the collaborative law divorce process, but will work hard to protect your best interests. With a Texas Board Certification in family law, collaborative attorney Ms. Smiedt can help you make sound decisions regarding any legal issues that may arise during divorce mediation or negotiations.
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What Is Collaborative Divorce in Texas and How Does It Work?
Collaborative law is a concept that allows litigants in Texas to work together to resolve the issues in their case. To resolve a divorce, this can be done through mediation or negotiations between the parties and their attorneys. The collaborative divorce process usually does not take as long as going through the court system with traditional divorce litigation, which can save you time and money.
The end results of this collaborative process are settlement terms that both parties agree upon. Thanks to the collaborative negotiation and mediation process, your lawyer can help minimize future costs and unneeded stress on both parties, post-divorce.
The collaborative divorce process usually does not take as long, which can save you time and money.
Couples who participate in collaborative divorce with our Arlington, TX, team tend to feel less hostility and anger for their ex-spouse. This benefits the well-being of the children, as ex-spouses are able to better work together to co-parent. When child custody terms are mutually agreed upon during the collaborative divorce process, there is far less stress on both parent and child.
There Are Several Steps Involved in Engaging in a Collaborative Divorce
Each spouse will use their own attorney for negotiation and mediation to represent their respective interests during the collaborative divorce process. Even in amicable cases, there is still a need to have a Texas legal professional, such as a divorce lawyer from The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt, representing your best interests.
Consultation with Your Attorney
As your lawyer, we ensure that important issues are not overlooked. You need someone by your side to ensure you are not taken advantage of by your spouse and their legal team. To achieve a win-win outcome, you will sit down with your attorney one-on-one to discuss your needs and goals. This allows us to determine an effective negotiation and mediation plan.
Discussions between Parties
Once each side has a clear understanding of what they want in the end, both spouses and their attorneys will meet to discuss the issues. If there are significant assets, it is advisable to have a financial professional sit in on the negotiations along with the collaborative lawyers. If you need special concessions made for a child, you may want to invite a child specialist or therapist to your meeting.
All parties will discuss how to best resolve any outstanding issues with each respective lawyer negotiating the terms for their client. During this process, each side will need to be willing to make compromises in order to reach an amicable final resolution. If the parties are unable to agree on terms, a mediator can be brought in to help facilitate an agreement.
As soon as a final settlement is reached, both spouses sign an agreement and that agreement is filed along with divorce papers. The agreement acts as the final terms between the parties, and each party is bound by those terms.
Collaborative law is a unique way to handle a divorce proceeding. The intent is to maintain civility while sifting through the complex issues surrounding divorce. The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt in Arlington, TX, can assist you step-by-step if you and your spouse are looking for an alternative to traditional divorce litigation.
Donna is an amazing, very talented family law attorney that I recommend highly. She helped me immensely during a very difficult time of my life during my divorce. She works tirelessly to ensure her clients are well represented, covers all contingencies, (even those you don’t think off), and the bottom line is she WINS the best outcome for your family. Catherine C.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce in Texas
Along with strengthening communication skills, a collaborative divorce at our Arlington, TX, firm provides a number of valuable benefits when parties can settle on an agreement.
A Less Hostile Environment
The divorce attorneys meet out-of-court, which allows for a less formal setting compared to traditional divorce cases. With collaborative divorce, the parties work together to come up with solutions that make sense for everyone. From asset division to child custody, negotiation and mediation works to satisfy the needs of both parties in a non-adversarial environment. In this way, deciding to use collaborative law for your divorce helps to reduce feelings of resentment and hostility.
The costs are lower when you remove the element of the courthouse from your case. As a collaborative team, you and your attorney do not have to spend time in court, arguing over family law matters. The collaborative divorce system is not subject to the court’s docket. This means the time it takes to finalize your divorce can be significantly shorter when you opt for a collaborative divorce in Texas.
Because the parties know what they want going into the process, each side and their collaborative lawyers take an active role in negotiating. This allows couples who use collaborative divorce to remain more in control of the final outcome than those who rely on the court to make these important decisions.
Each case is unique and is decided according to its facts. The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt in Arlington, TX, can help by going over your goals with you, and then developing a plan to help you reach those goals during the collaborative process.
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You can depend on us to carefully review the facts of your case in order to determine if collaborative law is the best approach, or if traditional litigation would result in a better outcome. The value of having a legal advocate in either scenario cannot be overstated.
Let Ms. Smiedt help you navigate this process in a way that achieves timely resolution and helps you enter a prosperous new chapter in your life. Our team can guide you through every step of the collaborative divorce process with your immediate and long-term goals in mind.
We provide the support you need during divorce and other complicated matters of family law in order to protect your family's best interests. Our services are accessible to those in Southlake, Westover Hills, and surrounding areas. The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt in Arlington, TX, can be reached online or by calling:
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What Issues Are Decided in a Collaborative Divorce in Texas?
Some people are hesitant to forego having the court hear their case out of concern that all issues will not be addressed. However, with the help of a divorce lawyer during the collaborative process, all the same types of issues can be resolved just like in a traditional divorce:
- Child Support: Your lawyer will ensure a fair amount of financial support will be paid in order to allow the children to maintain a certain quality of life.
- Child Custody: For the well-being of your children, you and your ex-spouse need to agree on a co-parenting plan. Depending on any number of factors, this can be granted in terms of sole custody or joint custody (shared between parents).
- Visitation: The importance of establishing a schedule that allows both parties parenting time with the children cannot be overlooked.
- Division of Assets and Other Property: During a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse must be in agreement upon which assets belong to which party.
- Distribution of Debt: Your lawyer can help you with establishing which party is responsible for specific debts owed to various institutions prior to the divorce.
- Alimony: A collaborative divorce may result in spousal support or alimony payments. This financial payment is made by one spouse to the other following the divorce.
Ms. Smiedt has helped many clients through difficult matters relating to various aspects of family law. She has been practicing since 1986 and has been a board-certified family law attorney with the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1991. Regardless of whether you decide on a collaborative process or traditional divorce methods, she can make sure your case is completely resolved and will gladly act as your counsel.