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Austin Collaborative Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can be a lengthy, stressful process, especially when spouses cannot agree on child custody and visitation.

But when a husband and wife are willing to work together toward a mutually beneficial settlement, they may be able to avoid the courtroom altogether.

The Evans & Herlihy Law Firm offers the option of collaborative divorce, meaning the couple and their lawyers work out details of a divorce outside of court. It’s an enticing alternative for people who want to dissolve their relationship as amicably as possible.

If you need representation in a divorce, call us today at (855) 414-1012.

How it Works

When a couple decides to pursue a collaborative divorce, they must sign a participation agreement that includes provisions indicating intentions such as the following:

  • Their goal is to be honest, fair and respectful in resolving their differences.
  • They agree to keep their children’s best interest in mind.
  • They will settle the matter without going to court.
  • They will sign a joint petition to begin the process, but they will file no documents with the court.
  • Their attorneys will file the appropriate paperwork when all matters have been settled.
  • They will be prepared for and attend joint meetings with their attorneys.
  • If they terminate the process, they will wait 30 days before initiating divorce proceedings.

When either party or their divorce attorney withdraws from collaboration, proceedings end immediately. Attorneys may withdraw if they believe one party is hiding assets or violating provisions outlined in the agreement. And sometimes, the parties are not able to respectfully resolve their differences. When collaboration ends prematurely, both parties must find new lawyers to handle their divorce.

What’s Right for You?

Collaboration doesn’t work for everyone, especially if one partner wants a divorce and the other doesn’t. Resentment and hostility can make negotiations difficult, if not impossible. Other factors that may preclude collaborative divorce are:

  • Significant assets
  • One partner suspects the other is hiding assets
  • Complex financial issues, such as trust funds and stocks
  • A history of domestic violence
  • A partner is intimated by, or afraid of, the other
  • A partner abuses drugs or alcohol.

Even if collaboration seems like it’s not the right choice for you, you may want a lawyer to handle your divorce. Call us today at (855) 414-1012 to find out how we can help you.

Minimizing Conflict

Most divorces are resolved through litigation, which doesn’t necessarily mean both parties will spend countless hours in court. In fact, more than 95 percent of divorce cases are settled outside of court. Regardless, litigation generally is a more difficult process than collaboration. In collaborative divorce, the parties and their attorneys set their own schedules and decide when to meet. In litigation, you must abide by the court’s timing. That means you may be ordered to appear on a certain date or file paperwork before deadlines.

If a divorce is contentious, settlement may be delayed because of one or both parties’ filing pleadings and motions throughout the process. The court may also order a couple to undergo counseling, and under Texas law, either party may demand a jury trial.

Collaboration is generally quicker than litigation, and it also keeps children out of the courtroom. When a divorce is litigated, the court may call a child as a witness. That happens infrequently, but a drawn-out divorce still creates stress for children.

Protecting Privacy

Collaboration offers more privacy, and for many couples, that’s an incentive to participate in this process.

Litigated divorce proceedings are part of the public record, which means anyone can find out about the details of your divorce. That’s a fact illustrated by bitter divorce proceedings involving two Houston officials. The Houston Chronicle reported the couple’s joint bank account balances, along with some of the lurid allegations they have made about each other.

Starting Over

The Evans & Herlihy Law Firm understands that divorce can be painful and stressful, especially when a couple has children. We work hard to settle disputes as quickly as possible, so you can move on with your life. Find out how we can help you. Fill out our contact form for a no-obligation consultation.

Attorney Scott Herlihy

Attorney Scott HerlihyScott handles a wide range of family law matters, both contested and uncontested, including divorces involving both large and complex estates as well as more modest asset and property divisions, modifications of Texas and out-of-state orders, custody disputes, establishment and enforcement of child support, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, paternity cases, and grandparents’ rights matters. [ Attorney Bio ]

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