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Getting divorced in Texas doesn’t have to lead to a stressful court battle. In fact, if you and your soon-to-be-ex are willing to negotiate, you can partake in a collaborative divorce that saves time, money and stress. A collaborative divorce can also give you more control over the outcome of your divorce instead of leaving everything to the judge.

What is a collaborative divorce?

A collaborative divorce involves you and your former spouse coming together to negotiate an agreement. To start, you’ll each hire your own attorneys who can guide you through the collaborative divorce process. You can also hire additional professionals, like accountants, mediators, counselors, tax advisors and anyone else, who may help you come to a fair agreement.

Once you’ve hired your team, you will speak with your attorney to figure out how to proceed and what you’re looking to gain from the divorce. While your lawyer’s duty is to protect you, he or she will also help you work with your former spouse, so your attorney may encourage you to compromise at some points.

After talking to you individually, you and your attorney will meet up with your former spouse and his or her attorney to negotiate. You’ll work together to write an agreement and then sign the paperwork and present it to the divorce court. If the court approves your paperwork, your divorce may be finalized. You’ll be able to avoid expensive court battles and excessive legal fees simply by working together to form a solution.

If you have kids, a collaborative divorce can also make the process easier for them. Instead of fighting it out in court, you’ll be able to show your children that you can act like calm, rational adults. Your children may experience less stress and won’t feel like they must choose between the two of you.

What can an attorney do for you?

An attorney could guide you through a collaborative divorce, which gives you much more control over the outcome than a regular divorce. You may also be able to maintain a civil relationship with your former spouse, which can help you raise your children together after the divorce is finalized.