Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is an alternative to traditional divorce. The conventional process of divorce is adversarial and public. The court must become involved in deciding the outcome of the legal issues affecting your family in the face of divorce.

Family Law Attorney Specializing in Collaborative Law and Mediation

Collaborative divorce presents a more respectful and private option to resolve disputes. It is a process in which the parties and their counsel agree in writing to make a good faith attempt to reach a mutually agreeable settlement without court intervention. Working together, you dissolve your marriage in a way that considers everyone's needs and minimizes conflict.

Collaborative divorce offers you flexibility to address everyone's legal, financial, and emotional needs. The collaborative divorce process recognizes that, while the marriage may be ending, family relationships and obligations continue, especially when children are involved. When couples and their advocates take a less adversarial approach, the entire family benefits.

In the collaborative divorce process, all participants agree to work together respectfully, honestly and in good faith. No one may go to court, or even threaten to do so, as long as they are in the collaborative process. If a party concludes that court is a better avenue, the collaborative law process ends.

When acting as a collaborative lawyer, Lybarger Law Firm owes a primary allegiance and duty to you - his client.

Collaborative Law: A New Way of Handling Divorce

Collaborative law is truly a new way of managing divorce. It is solution-oriented. It involves a shift away from adversarial proceedings and toward cooperation and problem solving. Richard Lybarger is a member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas. The Collaborative Law Institute brings Texas attorneys, family counselors, and financial advisers together to learn, practice, and promote a collaborative process for problem solving and peaceful resolution of family law issues.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?

The parties sign a participation agreement. The agreement requires both parties to:

  • Exchange complete financial information so that each spouse can make well-informed decisions
  • Maintain absolute confidentiality during the process so that each spouse can feel free to express his or her needs and concerns
  • Reach written agreement on all issues and concerns outside of contested court proceedings
  • Authorize the attorneys to use the written agreement to obtain a final court decree-no court appearances are necessary to obtain the final decree

Is My Situation Conducive to a Collaborative Divorce?

You should consider collaborative divorce if:

  • You believe it is important to protect your children from the harm litigation can inflict
  • You place a high value on personal responsibility in resolving conflict
  • You are able to focus on a positive solution for the entire family
  • You want to preserve a respectful working relationship with your spouse after the process is over
  • You see the need to disclose full and accurate information about financial issues, while maintaining privacy and confidentiality

What are the Advantages of Collaborative Divorce?

  • You and your spouse take responsibility for shaping the settlement as the key members of the team. You retain control instead of giving up decision-making authority to a judge.
  • You benefit from Richard Lybarger's advocacy, problem-solving, and negotiating skills in crafting an agreement with your spouse. All participants focus on finding positive solutions.
  • You reduce the anxiety of the threat of going to court.
  • You save resources. The collaborative process is usually less costly and time-consuming than litigation. When you reach an agreement, it can be finalized within a shorter time frame. You are not bogged down for months while you wait for discovery responses, deposition dates, expert witness reports, and a court date.
  • You gain an outcome that is tailored to your family. Every family is different and deserves a unique solution to the issues raised in a separation or divorce proceeding. Your final agreement is frequently more detailed and complete than any order that would be issued by a judge after a contested court proceeding.
  • You create a climate of cooperation in which you and your family can thrive in the face of transition.

For more information about this solution-oriented, new approach to separation and divorce proceedings, contact Lybarger Law Firm.