What is a Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is a process that encourages couples to work together to reach a mutually beneficial settlement outside of the courtroom. Collaborative Divorce focuses on resolving a divorce amicably and cooperatively. You and your spouse each hire a collaboratively trained attorney and agree to settle their case out of court. The attorneys assist you in negotiating a settlement agreement that meets the interests and goals of both parties.

The collaborative process is guided by open communication, respect, and a commitment to finding creative solutions that prioritize the needs of the entire family.  The collaborative process is ideal for people who want to have an active role in crafting their own divorce terms and who are trying to preserve an amicable relationship with their spouse post-divorce.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?

1) The Collaborative Divorce Team

Your collaboratively trained attorneys are committed to helping to resolve conflicts through cooperation and negotiation, rather than through litigation. A team of neutral professionals, who provide you and your spouse assistance with financial issues, communication issues and parent-child issues become part of a team that works with you and your spouse.

The financial professional assists you in understanding your finances by reviewing and identifying all assets and debts, including retirement plans, family businesses, life insurance, annuity plans, real estate, etc. They will help to generate options for you to consider to divide the property in a fair manner, considering the interests of both spouses. They will also help create budget options to consider for your post-divorce life.

The mental health professional or divorce coach helps to keep meetings focused on the agenda and to create a parenting plan. The mental health professional plays a key role in helping facilitate communication with your spouse during parts of the negotiations.

2) The Participation Agreement

Both spouses, along with the Collaborative Divorce team, sign a participation agreement that outlines their commitment to the Collaborative Divorce process. This agreement sets the tone for respectful communication, full disclosure of information, and a pledge to work together towards a settlement.

3) The Collaborative Divorce Meetings

Through a series of joint Collaborative Divorce meetings, you and your spouse will discuss your goals and interests and negotiate the terms of your divorce. The collaborative team assists you in exploring various options and solutions to resolve issues such as child custody, visitation schedules, division of assets, and spousal support. The focus is on finding solutions that meet the unique needs and interests of you and your family.

4) Finalizing the Settlement Agreement

After an agreement is reached, the attorneys will assist in drafting the settlement agreement that reflects the decisions made during the collaborative process. This agreement is submitted to the court for final approval, ensuring its legal enforceability.

Advantages and Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce offers numerous advantages over other divorce processes. The Collaborative Divorce process promotes open and respectful communication between you and your spouse, thus allowing for a more constructive resolution of any conflicts. Rather than leaving decisions to a Judge, the couple has more control over the terms of their divorce, resulting in a greater sense of satisfaction and ownership over the ultimate agreement.

Collaborative Divorce is designed to be confidential, protecting sensitive information from public disclosure. By working together in a cooperative manner, Collaborative Divorce aims to minimize hostility and preserve a more positive post-divorce relationship, which can be especially important when children are involved.

Contact an Experienced Austin Collaborative Divorce Attorney Today

Sara E. Saltmarsh, Attorney at Law, is dedicated to guiding couples through the Collaborative Divorce process in Texas. We have the expertise and experience to help you navigate the complexities of divorce while prioritizing respectful and cooperative resolutions. Contact us today at (512) 476-1588 to schedule a consultation and explore how collaborative divorce can be a viable option for your unique circumstances.

What Our Clients Say

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