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Collaborative Law and Mediation

Posted on in Complex Divorce

Texas collaborative law attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyer, Texas divorce attorney,When asked for a quick definition of collaborative law, many attorneys may say something like "ongoing mediation." Although this synonym is not entirely inaccurate, it does not capture the essence of collaborative law nor does it explain why it is a viable alternative, at least in many cases.

To briefly summarize, collaborative lawyers work with the parties to resolve property division in a high-asset divorce, complex custody disputes, and related matters.

Structure

Almost everyone knows that divorce litigation takes place in a courtroom, where either a judge or a jury decides factual and legal issues. The attorney's role is to "win" the case by "beating" the other party, although these terms mean different things to different people in different cases. Mediation is typically part of the litigation process, although sometimes the parties simply go through the motions.

Instead of hearings in a courtroom, collaborative law takes place through meetings in a conference room; these meeting typically take place monthly. Moreover, to both make them feel more invested in the process and keep costs lower, the parties typically have "homework," which may include gathering documents or generating a witness list.

Alternative v. Complementary

Mediation is a litigation complement. If the one-time mediation session fails, or never takes place at all, the parties return to the courtroom.

Collaborative law is an alternative to high net worth divorce litigation. Basically the only court pleading filed is an agreed statement to engage in collaborative law. If that process breaks down, which rarely happens, the parties must seek new counsel if they wish to litigate the matter. This requirement fosters an "all-in" mentality that forces the participants to actively participate in the process.

Objective

In a similar vein, parties go into mediation with the goal of obtaining the most favorable individual result. The legal and financial interests of children and other family members are given little or no consideration.

Since the parties work together on an extended basis, collaborative law works differently, as the parties have a more holistic approach. This is not to say that collaborative lawyers do not zealously represent their clients. However, this model is very well-suited for people who are willing to make some limited compromises to promote the greater good.

Many people consider collaborative law to be a much more civil option than litigation. For a consultation with an aggressive Leander high asset attorney, contact our office. Mr. Powers is a fully certified collaborative law professional.

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759