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The "good divorce": might it be a good consideration for you?

Divorce is evolving. While some still think of it as a drawn-out courtroom drama, more and more, it does not have to be that way. When appropriate, we focus on helping our clients find collaborative solutions to the legal issues in their divorces, often keeping stress and costs lower.

Instead of battling over each issue, in collaborative divorce a neutral negotiator will help each party remain focused on their goals to reach a plan. It's a legal tool that keeps decisions in your hands rather than those of a stranger in a black robe.

More divorcing couples in Texas are reaching creative, nonadversarial arrangements for how the family will move forward after divorce with dignity. The proportion using collaborative law still remains low (less than 10 percent of Texas divorces are resolved this way). These approaches are growing in popularity, however.

It is one path, if you want to build a positive co-parenting approach to benefit the children. Some of the other benefits include:

  • Privacy - the details of your divorce will not end up in the public record. If you work in a public position or own a business this is often important.
  • Workable, long-term solutions - no one knows better than you what will work and what will not for your family.

Cooperative negotiation usually seems easier when the reasons for splitting are less traumatic on the scale of reasons for divorcing. When two people just fall out of love in the course of life, being amicable in divorcing may be more natural. But every marriage is unique and only the two involved can decide what seems like a good arrangement going forward.

Of course, for some couples, the relationship is contentious and will probably never be good. For example, negotiation and collaboration is usually not smart when one party has a history of domestic abuse, cruelty, dishonesty, or controlling or intimidating behavior. Mental illness and substance addiction can also complicate the picture. In those situations, your lawyer can communicate and negotiate on your behalf and with your involvement, and advocate for you in court, if necessary.

Could this approach work for you?

If you face divorce, it is in your best interest to discuss with a family lawyer in detail the nature of your relationship with your spouse and whether you think you can or want to work together. Addressing the pros and cons of the range of approaches to the divorce process in your unique circumstances right away can lead to better outcomes.

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