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Collaborative law as an alternative to drawn-out separations

When Houston-area couples realize their marriage might not be working anymore, there are a variety of options available. There are different ways to divorce, of course, such as collaborative law, but there are also different speeds of splitting. Some may wish to get things over with as quickly as possible, while others may opt for a long-term separation. For those living apart from their spouses but headed for divorce, the separation may evolve into an indefinite limbo.

From an emotional standpoint, long-term separations may be a way to simply avoid thinking about the outcomes of divorce. Many spouses understandably want to avoid court, but also want to evade the anxiety and stress associated with divorce legal action. Drawn-out separations, though, have their own issues, which must be dealt with sooner or later.

First, when couples are separated for long periods of time, each spouse has little control over how the other is using marital assets. Spouses might even be getting into debt during this period without the other one knowing; this issue can prove problematic during property division. In addition, a spouse can potentially hide assets during this time if the other is not living with him or her, or if the other spouse is in denial about divorce. Finally, if one spouse gets into legal or financial trouble during a separation, the other spouse is less protected than if they were already divorced.

There are other considerations as well. For instance, laws regarding alimony can change during a long-term separation. Moreover, when couples separate, one's standard of living might go down, making it more difficult to address the marital lifestyle during the division of assets in divorce. While a marital breakup is always difficult, Texans have an alternative: collaborative law. This process encourages each spouse to address his or her most important divorce concerns in a non-threatening environment.

Source: Forbes, "Putting off divorce? Ten ways long-term separations can do women more harm than good," Jeff Landers, Oct. 3, 2013

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

She will take the time to understand your individual needs and develop a comprehensive solution to protect your rights and interests.

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