Collaborative Family Law is a process by which the decision making process in a divorce is taken away from the Court and put into the hands of a neutral third-party, the collaborative lawyer. This is a relatively new process–The Texas Legislature enacted laws that authorize this practice in 2011.
Collaborative Family Law requires many things. To start, both spouses must sign a collaborative family law participation agreement, and the agreement must have certain provisions in it. Once the agreement is filed on record with the clerk of the Court, the legal proceedings are essentially on “pause” so that the parties can divorce can be settled amicably.
Collaborative Family Law is completely voluntary and either spouse can end it when they want. This leads to one of the primary reasons why Collaborative Family Law often does not work for spouses: the spouses do not get along and cannot agree. The very same personality conflicts, faults, and other issues between the spouses during marriage are still present during the divorce process.
Another large issue with Collaborative Family Law is that any attorney involved in the process will be disqualified from further representation if the Collaborative Family Law process does not work. Then, the parties are left to pursue a typical divorce through Court process and they will have to obtain new attorneys who were not involved in the Collaborative Family Law attempt.