Dick Price has been in practice. Since 2000, Collaborative Law has been his preferred method of problem solving. He has practiced law for over 30 years and am a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law. He has found that most people want to get through the legal system with their dignity intact, end up with the best terms they can work out (not expecting to win everything) and without much fighting. While some people are able to work out most or all of their issues and just need a little help getting things wrapped up, others need help in creating new solutions and many prefer doing so in a private and respectful manner. Collaborative Law is a great way for people to work together and creatively solve problems. Almost no cases actually go to trial, so ultimately most parties need a strong, creative and effective negotiator who is comfortable in mediation as well as informal direct negotiations.
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Being Creative with Child Support
Using the Collaborative Law process, we feel impelled to be creative with solutions, even where there are standard guidelines in the Texas Family Code for such things as how to set child support. In most litigation cases, the child support amount is quickly set by following the standard formula. The Code deals with the amounts of income and the number of children before the Court, as well as considering if there are other children that need to be supported.
This is kind of a chicken and egg situation. Which came first, the possibility of reconciliation or choosing to use the Collaborative process?
Is Collaborative Law a Good Fit for You?
Adryenn Cantor, a San Diego, CA attorney included an excellent list of five questions for people to ask themselves to determine if they are a good candidate for using Collaborative Law in a divorce case.
Restructuring the Family the Collaborative Way
In a typical litigated divorce, the Judge will impose a standard set of guidelines for most matters relating to the children. In many of those cases, the resulting order doesn't exactly fit the needs or facts of the case. Many times, there's a random standard possession schedule for the children, as well as a standard child support order. Special needs due to work, geography, health, school or any other factors are often not considered. The big advantage of that approach, "one size fits all", is that it's easy.
3 Fallacies over Lunch
At lunch today, a very good friend and I started talking about Collaborative Law. I have known him over 30 years and we often talk about law, divorce (he's had two) and what I do as a lawyer. We have discussed Collaborative Law a number of times. I learned today that I need to be a little clearer with others when I talk about how the process works. I was shocked to hear statement after statement of misunderstandings from him.
Is Collaborative Law Worth the Cost?
For people facing divorce, a common question is whether Collaborative cases are "cheaper than litigation". While there is no way to compare a specific Collaborative case to an abstract idea of a litigated case, we can say that Collaborative Law will avoid a lot of the expense involved in litigation.
Facing a Divorce Later in Life?
It has become noticeable that Baby Boomers and even older people are starting to experience a significant number of divorces. Couples married for 20 to 40 years are getting divorced.
How to Start a Collaborative Divorce
Since Collaborative Law is still relatively new, many people may feel unsure about how to start the process. It's actually very simple.
Tips for Better Communication During a Divorce
In any divorce, things get heated occasionally (or more often). In Collaborative divorces, the parties can still feel considerable stress. It is an emotional experience. Sometimes, parties will react emotionally, in anger, and that is regrettable. Here are some quick tips to help maintain a constructive relationship between the parties.
How Does Collaborative Law Work?
This is the third in a series of stories about how Collaborative Law actually works in a divorce case. These cases are not real cases. The facts and stories are expanded and modified from real issues faced by families going through a Collaborative divorce.
Sometimes, people get anxious to get their divorce over with. That's understandable. Divorce is stressful, difficult and often unpleasant. It's usually not a good experience, unless you and your spouse both are still cordial with each other and both want to move fairly quickly through the process. Even if things start out well, try not to be in too big a hurry.
Why You Shouldn't Negotiate with Your Spouse
As a Collaborative case progresses, one or both of the parties often want to "save time" or "save money" by negotiating directly with their spouse, outside of the joint Collaborative meetings. That's usually a bad idea from my experience.