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Is Collaborative Divorce Right for You?

Does anyone benefit from a divorce fight? Probably not. By fighting over community property, child custody, and other issues, married couples drag out the divorce, making it more expensive. They also exit the marriage with hard feelings and little incentive to work peacefully in the future.

Collaborative divorce has grown more popular recently as an alternative to contested divorce. With this option, married couples commit to resolving issues as a team. Although they have lawyers, they also use experts to help resolve disputes. For example, many couples struggle to identify separate property from community property. A financial expert can help clarify how much of a retirement account is community property (and therefore subject to division) and how much is one spouse’s separate property (which they can leave with). Below, our Galveston family law attorneys review some key considerations with this process.

Who Benefits from Collaborative Divorce?

If collaborative divorce was easy, couples would do it without the benefit of lawyers and experts. However, many men and women face personal challenges with collaborative divorce. For example, they might have to set aside intensely negative feelings toward their spouse, such as anger or disappointment.

Still, this process can work when couples have a mutual, good faith commitment to try and resolve a divorce amicably. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the divorce sets the tone for co-parenting down the road. Those with young children or complicated assets often benefit the most from collaborative divorce. But anyone should choose this option if they want to dramatically reduce stress.

When Collaborative Divorce Doesn’t Work

Not everyone who chooses collaborative divorce succeeds. There are certain barriers which can prevent agreement. For example, one spouse might intend to move across the country after divorce for a new job, and they want to take the children with them. That situation would make it much harder for the spouse back in Galveston to see the children. There might be no way to amicably resolve that dispute.

Collaborative divorce can also fail when one spouse doesn’t want to freely share relevant information. For example, you might suspect your husband has investment accounts he’s not disclosing. Those accounts would be at least partially community property, but he’s denying he has any money stored somewhere. It is impossible to negotiate effectively or fairly when someone hides information like that.

Some couples should probably not even attempt collaborative divorce. If there has been domestic or sexual violence in a family, then you might want to head directly to court. If you have a restraining order against your spouse, he or she can’t come into a conference room to hash out your divorce details.

Are You Interested in Collaborative Divorce?

The Galveston family law attorneys at Tad Nelson & Associates can assist anyone hoping to engage in the collaborative divorce process. We can provide an overview of what to expect and explain how we can help. We can also advise whether you should even try this process or go with mediation instead. To find out more, contact us today to schedule a consultation.