Restructuring the Family the Collaborative Way

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In a typical litigated divorce in Texas, and probably most states, the Judge will impose a standard set of guidelines for most matters relating to the children.  In many of those cases, the resulting order doesn’t exactly fit the needs or facts of the case.  Many times, there’s a random standard possession schedule for the children, as well as a …

Do You Want a Civilized Divorce?

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Unfortunately, most divorces are somewhat acrimonious.  It’s a rare divorce where the parties are rational and cooperative with each other.  There are many reasons for that and it’s hard to change someone’s attitude when they are starting a divorce.Collaborative Law offers the choice of having a civilized divorce where the parties can be around each other and be treated respectfully.    …

Choosing a Collaborative Lawyer: Why Training is Important

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If you are trying to decide which Collaborative attorney to hire, you are probably looking at web sites and blogs to get information and to find out about the knowledge and experience of various attorneys.  There are many trained Collaborative Law attorneys to choose from in Tarrant County.  You do need to meet one or more in person to try …

Can Collaborative Law Work for a Custody Case?

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There is a common misconception that Collaborative Law will only work, or will work best, when the parties start out in “near agreement” with each other.  In other words, it works if the parties are very agreeable people and are close to a settlement.  Actually, Collaborative Law works well for major disputes, including alimony, property division and special needs, as …

Choosing Between Collaborative Law and Do-It-Yourself Forms

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There has been a lot of interest in people doing divorces by using do-it-yourself forms.  It’s obviously a way to save a lot of money.  It can also be a fast way to get a case completed, if everything goes well.The DIY approach doesn’t work well if the divorce is hotly contested.  In that case, at least one party will …

Another Reason to Use Collaborative Law — Easy, Free Parking!

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I just heard an NPR news story about parking lots.  It was more interesting than I expected.  There were sound bites from Joni Mitchell’s song, Big Yellow Taxi (“They Paved Paradise and Put up a Parking Lot”) and a Seinfeld segment where they got lost in a parking garage looking for their car. The story was explaining the obvious — …

Complicated Finances: When You Should Use Collaborative Law

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Couples facing divorce after a long-term marriage often have serious concerns about how to deal with and protect their hard-earned assets.  There can be a variety of investments, business interests and employment benefits built up over the years.  In a litigated divorce, if the case reaches trial, a judge is likely to divide the assets in ways that may not …

How to Negotiate in a Collaborative Law Case

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For people starting out in Collaborative cases, their focus is usually on something like gathering information, wondering what to expect or worrying about whether their own needs can be met.  Something that isn’t considered too often is now to prepare to negotiate in a Collaborative divorce case context.  Here are some suggestions to help address that oversight.1.  Learn from the …

The Other Costs of a Litigated Divorce

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Collaborative lawyers are pretty good about explaining the options a person has in starting on a divorce. The old standard approach is litigation.  The main alternative is Collaborative Law.  Another approach, which is used by some people, is to represent themselves, which is risky.  Other posts go into more detail about the dangers of representing yourself.  For now, I would …

Can You Switch to Collaborative Law After You Start a Divorce?

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The simple answer is “Yes”! Even if you started by using DIY forms and trying to do your own divorce, you can switch to Collaborative Law by getting Collaborative attorneys for both parties. A divorce or other family law case can always be changed over from litigation to Collaborative Law at any time before a final order is signed.  That’s true …

Is Collaborative Law Worth the Cost?

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For people facing divorce, a common question is whether Collaborative cases are “cheaper than litigation”.  While there is no way to compare a specific Collaborative case to an abstract idea of a litigated case, we can say that Collaborative Law will avoid a lot of the expense involved in litigation.Attorneys will often talk about how the Collaborative process can save …