We are open again for business at the beautiful brick and mortar location! Although we are very conscious of the COVID-19 risks, we understand that people especially need family lawyers at this time. After practicing in the area a family law for 33 years and being board-certified for 28 of those years, I have a keen awareness of how the current situation has deeply affected marriages and children in our community. We stand ready and able to service our ongoing clients in our newly disinfected office wherein we now require that all visitors submit their forehead for a contactless temperature reading to protect our work family and yours. We do require that you wear a mask as prescribed by federal, county and city regulations. When I built my office in 2013 I incurred  the additional monies to ensure that all visitors were safe from the spreading of germs and bacteria by installing high tech visitor restrooms with touchless water, soap and dryers, I had no idea that this would be such an added layer of safety for our clients and employees during this pandemic.  This foresight gives us the ability to provide you with the highest standard of cleanliness and low risk for infection when you visit our beautiful, SPACIOUS office, in person where we can comply with social distancing with no problem whatsoever. We are accepting new clients at this time and have instituted new policies for receiving payments online as well as having our intake forms as easy PDF fillable documents as well as giving you the opportunity to provide us with all of your evidence and other important documentation by sending same via electronic transmission. We have all of our clients’ private and confidential  information saved and protected, while being accessible to the staff through our extremely secure Cloud Client Platform and Portal hosted by legal industry giant, ThomsenReuters. For this reason, during the stay at home sheltering orders we were one of the few law firms in the county to already have transitioned to a virtual Law Firm. This permitted our brilliant and innovative family law attorneys to continue to seamlessly provide the very best legal representation to the DFW population which we serve. We are able to represent clients not only in Tarrant County, but all surrounding counties such as Johnson, Dallas, Collin, Kaufman and Parker. 

I have handpicked the most competent, experienced and hard working support staff to flawlessly meet the needs of our clients as a full-service family law firm. We have recently been named as one of the top 20 divorce law firms in Arlington! I have garnered many honors over my many years of practice, including being named as Top Attorney in Fort Worth for over a decade each year and I have twice been selected by my peers as a “Super Lawyer” of Texas, an honor reserved for an extremely small percentage of Texas lawyers. Although I am proud of all of these accolades, this would mean nothing to my clients if I had not concentrated on a mission of using my decades of experience to build my law form into a well organized business utilizing the most cutting edge technological tools to represent my clients in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. This goal has served me well during this ongoing epidemic. My goal is to provide the most excellent t legal services to all of the community at a cost that does not bankrupt a client. 

If you are at high risk to contract Coronavirus or prefer to have all of your contact with our office in virtual form, we are set up on Zoom for immediate consultations for new clients. My Mission Statement has always been: “When It comes to your family and your finances, experience matters!” These words are more true now than ever. During these uncertain times I wanted to reach out to our community and assure your that because of my many years of practice, I had already built in all of the safeguards to enable our brilliant lawyers and awesome paralegals to continue the essential work that they do from home during the height of the pandemic. I wanted to put the word out there that we stand ready and able to meet all of your family law needs, now more than ever. We are also still offering our simple Estate Planning Kit at a greatly reduced price to give back to the community that has been so wonderful and supportive over the last 33 years as I built one of the best family law firms in the State. Prayers to all of you during these frightening times, and please remember that we have the experience and technology to best serve you, our important clients who are the reason for our continued existence and survival.  At the end of the day, no business is more essential than a family law firm with a  dedicated team ready to shepherd you through any crisis that you and your family are experiencing. Please reach out to us if you need help now at ArlingtonDivorces.com or call (817) 572-9900 and Amanda can get you set up to meet with us to give you advice immediately,

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.

Take the First Step Today...

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. 

Attorney Donna Smiedt

Donna Smiedt

The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt helps clients throughout Southlake, Westover Hills, and Arlington, TX, achieve outcomes that benefit all parties involved in a case. Contact us online to learn more or call our family law firm today at:

(817) 572-9900

"A Caring, Compassionate and Qualified Attorney"


Renee L.

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Donna is the most caring, compassionate and qualified attorney I’ve ever met. She always looks out for her clients and goes the extra mile. I can’t recommend her highly enough. Thank you for everything.

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Rose R.

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You want Donna in your corner. I was very fortunate to have been referred to her!

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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.

Woman speaking with attorney
A collaborative approach allows you and your spouse to maintain an element of control over the final decision made.

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.

Formal 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.​

Client Testimonial

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.

Lower Costs

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.

More Control

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.

Contact Us to Learn More

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:

(817) 572-9900

"I would never consider another attorney..."


Valerie M.

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Donna was my attorney during a very difficult divorce. She is very supportive, professional, ethical and well-respected by her clients, the judges and DFW legal community. Her staff is fantastic. In addition to divorces, Donna has provided professional services in other family law issues I have faced as well will preparation. The services she and her staff have provided to me, my husband and children span a time frame of almost 20 years. I would never consider going to any other attorney for any type of family law issues. Her knowledge in family law cannot be found anywhere else and I highly recommend her.  

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Louise E.

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Donna Smiedts Law Firm makes you feel comfortable when you walk in. Donna and her staff did a great job for us and they are there when we need them. They go out of their way to help you. We would recommend The Law Firm of Donna Smiedt very highly.

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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.

the team at The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt

The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt

The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt is the premier destination for clients who need representation during a divorce, adoption, or other family law matters. Donna J. Smiedt has been in practice since 1986 and is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney – Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Her other professional affiliations include:

  • Texas Bar College
  • Arlington Bar Association
  • Tarrant County Bar Association
  • Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists

To schedule a consultation at our Arlington, TX, law firm, contact us online or call (817) 572-9900.

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