Understanding the requirements for collaborative law negotiations

Jan 14 2017 - Posted by , in Collaborative Law, Tagged in Collaborative Law

Texans who are having marital difficulties, but are not interested nor willing to engage in a protracted conflict, might want to consider a collaborative process to iron out their differences and move forward. There are many reasons why a couple would want to take this course. There might be children as part of the marriage, so the parents may want to work together for the good of their offspring. It could be that the marriage is ending without rancor and they simply need assistance to settle it. Or they are trying to peacefully resolve disputes they have.

Before using the collaborative process, it is important to know what the requirements are for the agreement. It must have the following: be in a record; have the signatures of both parties; detail the intentions of the parties to resolve the matter using the collaborative law process; and describe the circumstances that sparked the decision to use the collaborative process.

The agreement must also have a statement from each attorney representing the parties in the process. It is required that there be provisions to suspend the intervention of a tribunal as the parties are going through the process. The couple must jointly engage with experts, professionals or advisors who are functioning in a neutral capacity unless it is agreed to in writing that this will not take place. Couples are also able to add provisions that are not listed under the law.

The goal of collaborative law is multi-faceted. It can stop needless fighting, the parties are in command of their own situation and it is flexible. Moreover, it can be less expensive that other alternatives, there are resolution strategies, it is not adversarial and it can diminish how the process will negatively influence children. For those who are parting ways from a marriage, a collaborative agreement might be a useful way to talk through issues and end the marriage agreeably with settlement agreements. Speaking to an attorney to determine if collaborative law is an appropriate option is the first step to making a decision.

Source: statutes.legis.state.tx.us, “Sec. 15.101. Requirements For Collaborative Family Law Participation Agreement.,” accessed on Jan. 10, 2017

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