1. Do we each need to have a lawyer in the collaborative process?
Yes. Texas law requires it, and it’s the best way to make sure each person’s interests are protected.
2. My spouse and I don’t get along that well, but we don’t want a big court fight. Can a collaborative divorce work for us?
Absolutely. Collaborative professionals are trained to deal with the strong emotions involved in a divorce.
3. Is the collaborative process the same as mediation?
No. A mediator can’t give legal advice or make decisions; she can only help the parties find common ground. By contrast, collaborative lawyers advise their clients as part of the collaborative process: a process that includes information gathering and joint decision making.
4. The collaborative process often uses a team of two lawyers, a neutral financial professional, and a neutral mental health professional. Is a team required for all cases?
No, but a collaborative team brings special expertise and many other benefits to the process. A collaborative lawyer can explain the details.
5. I don’t have kids. Does the collaborative process still make sense for me?
Yes. While the collaborative process is suited to protecting families and relationships, it can also provide a smoother, more civilized path to divorce for couples without children.
6. What if you’re not married to your partner but have a child? Can you use the collaborative process?
Yes. The collaborative process is appropriate for more than divorces.
7. My lawyer already started my divorce as a litigation case, but my spouse and I want to be collaborative. Is it too late to be collaborative?
No. You can turn a litigation case into a collaborative case if you and your spouse agree. You don’t need a new lawyer unless you want one.
8. I want to have a collaborative divorce, but my spouse wants to fight. Can I make him do the case collaboratively?
Unfortunately, no. The collaborative process is entirely voluntary.
9. Should all divorces be collaborative?
Many more divorces should be collaborative, but some divorces are better handled in the courtroom. A collaborative lawyer can explain the divorce options to you.