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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Collaborative Divorce

  1. How do I know if the collaborative divorce is right for me?

The collaborative divorce process is completely voluntary.  Neither party can require that the other party agree to use the process, nor can any court require the parties to use the process.  When you consult with a lawyer regarding a divorce or other family law issue, talk to them about the collaborative divorce process and whether it would be a good option for your case.

 

  1. How much will a collaborative divorce cost?

It is impossible to predict how much any divorce will cost.  Every lawyer has his or her own fees and retainer policies, and you should address your specific concerns about the cost and payment policies with your lawyer.  The typical collaborative divorce “team” will include each party’s respective attorney, as well as a neutral communications facilitator and a neutral financial professional who are jointly retained by the parties to prevent the appearance of any bias towards either party.  Typically, a collaborative divorce is more cost-effective than litigation.

 

  1. How do I find a collaborative lawyer?

To find collaborative lawyers in the Dallas and Collin County areas, visit www.thecollaborativealliance.com.

To find collaborative lawyers and other collaborative professionals in Texas, visit the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas website:  www.collablawtexas.com.

To find collaborative lawyers throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, visit the International Academy of Collaborative Practitioners’ website:

www.collaborativepractice.com.

 

  1. I don’t trust my spouse. Should I still try the collaborative divorce process?

It is very common, if not expected, that people going through divorce do not trust their spouses.  The Expectations of Conduct and Collaborative Participation Agreements require that the parties be truthful throughout the collaborative divorce process, not just with their attorneys, but with every member of the collaborative team.  There are safeguards built into the collaborative divorce process to account for the lack of trust between the parties.   Talk to your lawyer about any concerns you have to be sure that collaborative divorce is the right choice for you.

 

  1. I am afraid of my spouse. Should I still try the collaborative divorce process?

It is imperative that every person feel safe during the collaborative divorce process.  If you have concerns about your safety, talk to your lawyer about accommodations that can be made to help you feel more secure.   For example, if you are afraid to be in the same room with your spouse, ask your lawyer if you can be in a separate room during some or all of the joint sessions.  You may also want to meet individually with the Communications Facilitator to help articulate your concerns to the rest of the team.  Your attorney or the Communications Facilitator will be able to direct you to appropriate counseling or social services if you need additional help.

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