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Collaborative law divorce may fit 'personalization' age

The rule of law is what we follow in Texas and the rest of the United States. What that means is that everyone is subject to the laws of the country and the state in which they live. No one is above the law and it's supposed to apply equally to all.

The area of family law is no different. If you are divorcing, have child custody, support or other issues, the laws of Texas need to be complied with. However, in the past few decades some changes have started to occur in how we go about meeting the requirements of the statutes. Instead of traditional adversarial litigation, a more collaborative approach may be employed.

When thinking about what that means, it might help to frame things in the context of the age of personalization that we now live in. Retailers know that Henry Ford's "Model T" mentality doesn't work anymore. You may recall that Ford was known to have said that you could get one of his cars in any color you wanted, as long as it was black. Consumers today want what they want, the way they want it, and fast.

These days, the courts and family law practitioners appreciate that every family is different. The traditional model of divorce court might be appropriate for families in certain situations. More and more often, though, especially where children are involved, there is often a desire on the part of the divorcing parents to reach a settlement that involves less confrontation.

In collaborative law the spouses both have their attorneys but they all work together to come to terms. They might also work closely with a set of neutral, third-party experts in financial planning and family or parental counseling.

The collaborative law approach does require a cooperative mindset that not all couples can adopt. But those who can make it work often find that the divorce process goes smoother and is less expensive.

To learn if it might be right for you, speak with an attorney trained in collaborative law practice.

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