We have two ways you can get a divorce. One is a litigation method, and one is what we call the collaborative method. Both of them are recognized in Texas Family Code.
The litigation method is basically what everybody grew up with. You file your divorce, you try and settle your case. If you’re unable to settle it, you end up in front of a judge or jury and they’re going to make your decisions for you.
In collaborative law, the parties start off the case by signing an agreement that is not signed in a litigation case that says we’re not going to trial. And the process then is that everybody will come to the table. And at that point you’re going through the same process you do in a litigated case. You’re gathering information, you’re evaluating that information. You’re then negotiating your case. And in a collaborative law case, the parties have decided for all the reasons that matter in their family that they’re going to settle this case without a judge ultimately making all the decisions.
It is very beneficial from the standpoint of would you really want a complete stranger making decisions for you and your life and your kids and your property, or do you want to make those decisions yourself.
Some people, unfortunately, aren’t able to do that. But in the beginning of a divorce, that’s really the first question you need to ask yourself; how do I want to get a divorce?