What is collaborative law and divorce mediation?

The state of Texas and the divorce laws in the Texas Family Code are pretty clear regarding divorce mediation. The authorities prefer it if you can work it out between yourselves and your attorneys, especially if there are children involved. Can you get along long enough to decide what is best for the kids? Hopefully you can.

The way it happens is this: You hire an attorney and so does your spouse. You both enter into contracts with your attorneys and promise in the document to do everything you can to collaborate and come to a peaceful resolution to all matters of the divorce. If you can’t, your attorneys may have to step aside because they also have to promise to help you collaborate.

The agreement must be in writing and on record. It must be signed by everyone involved. It has to state that you all agree to try to collaborate on all issues dealing with divorce. It has to describe the nature and scope of the matters at hand. Your attorney must sign this document as well as your spouse’s lawyer.

You have to agree to suspend any court action while the mediation is ongoing. Unless otherwise listed in the contract, any legal professional must remain neutral and not engage in arguments or infighting.

Can you see how much better it is to go the mediation route? If you don’t want a judge to tell you what you are going to do with your kids, your assets and property, your debt and maybe even spousal support, you may want to try this way of getting a divorce. It can be easier on you and any children involved.

Source: Texas Family Code, “Collaborative family law act,” accessed Dec. 16, 2015