Collaborative law is an alternative dispute resolution method most similar to mediation, but instead of using a neutral third party mediator to facilitate agreement between the parties, each party’s attorney acts as the facilitator. In typical Collaborative law negotiations, all parties and their attorneys meet altogether; neutral third parties are often included to assist with communication skills, child development education, financial education, and data collection.
During a Collaborative law session, all parties sit together and work to understand not only the stated positions or goals of each party, but the motivating factors for each position. Once all positions are thoroughly analyzed, all involved attempt to find a “win-win” solution in which the most important goals of each party are achieved. If the Collaborative law process fails and no agreement is reached, or in the event that either party abandons the Collaborative law process and invokes a litigation proceeding in court, both attorneys must withdraw entirely from the case.
Like mediation, Collaborative law is favored by some because it gives the parties control over the final outcome of their case. Further, Collaborative law places the well-being of its participants and their children ahead of many other factors and is less stressful and hostile than litigation. When Collaborative law is properly executed, the process is civil, courteous, and private; but be cautious of the benefits Collaborative law advertises.
Collaborative law is still a relatively young area of family law in Texas, and consequently, many Texas attorneys have never participated in such a process. Fortunately, our firm’s owner, Susan Myres, has participated in multiple Collaborative law sessions with the firm hosting the event. If you are in the midst of a family law dispute and believe that Collaborative law is the right process for you, trust the attorneys of Myres & Associates, PLLC to represent your rights in this rapidly growing area of alternative dispute resolution.