When pondering divorce, you may be frightened or overwhelmed by the drawn-out, high contested process. You may want to leave your spouse, but you don’t want to end your marriage on bad terms.

Texas law requires both parties to talk to each other in an attempt to come to an agreement. It involves mediation and negotiation in a calm and structured setting. This process is called collaborative divorce.

What the process entails

Because the process is legally required, you and your spouse must both attend. You can each hire an attorney to represent your best interests.

  • Meet with your attorney privately and explain what you want.
  • You and your attorney will meet with your spouse and their attorney. You may want a neutral third-party specialist involved in discussions about child custody or other topics that may be hard to negotiate.
  • Once you and your spouse have agreed on all aspects of your divorce, it can be finalized. You will sign divorce papers and the settlement agreement.

The process may not be quite as simple as outlined above. It may take you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse a few separate meeting times before you can agree.

In rare circumstances, collaborative divorce does not work. In those instances, litigation may be necessary. Collaborative divorce is usually the best option.

What are the benefits of collaborative divorce?

In addition to being legally required, collaborative divorce has many benefits.

  • The process allows you to explain your desires and feelings
  • It helps both spouses understand the legal complexities of divorce
  • Both parties will be able to voice their views and negotiate what they want
  • The process saves money

Of all the benefits, saving money is intriguing to most couples. The average cost of divorce is $15,000 per spouse. Court filing costs and attorney fees, among other costs, are behind high price tag.

Collaborative divorce is less expensive, in most cases. On average, collaborative divorce takes about 9 months to complete while divorces that go to court take almost 18 months to become final.

According to those averages, collaborative divorce will save you a lot of time and money.