Fort Worth Mediation & Collaborative Law Attorneys
Divorce is difficult. The legal process doesn’t have to be. At The Law Office of Gary L. Nickelson, we are committed to helping people resolve divorce disputes using mediation and/or collaborative law. We recognize that involving the courts can result in court-ordered divorce agreements that do not represent the desires of either person. Mediation and/or collaborative law can solve this problem.
What Is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative law is a form of alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, where people agree to work through issues such as child custody, property division, and alimony without involving the courts. Each person is represented by an attorney that protects their interests throughout the process. However, if the negotiations come to an impasse and the courts are needed to resolve the conflict, both parties need to find new representation.
Just as in divorce litigation, the collaborative law process may involve an accountant, business evaluators, and other financial experts. The objective is not to vilify one party or the other, but to create a mutual understanding of the value of the marital estate. This creates conditions where the parties can come to an agreement as to an equitable division of the marital estate.
One of the greatest benefits of the collaborative process is that it often creates less animosity between parents, thereby creating a better environment for children. Children can be significantly impacted by traditional divorce litigation. At times they are even asked which parent they prefer. Collaborative law places parents in a position to amicably resolve divorce disputes, while maintaining a relationship that is important to the welfare of the children involved.
How Does Mediation Work?
While collaborative law is a good approach to use if everyone can be totally honest and everyone is looking to be fair to the other side, our experience is that only happens in cases where there are enough assets to divide that both parties are fine with the other side getting an equal share. Those are rare cases. Most people simply need the best outcome they can get for themselves and, therefore, litigation remains the preferred method. Today, you cannot go to court to litigate unless you have first attempted some type of alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, technique. The court requires this step. The one most commonly used in Texas is mediation. It is usually a day-long process where the attorneys and the clients work with a neutral mediator to try and reach a mutually agreeable settlement. This is preferable to most clients because no deal can be made without their agreement; in other words, no one will force some agreement on them. There has to be agreement as to the division of assets and any child issues, as well. Most clients are ready to get the divorce behind them by the time the case is ready to mediate, so we have a very high rate of success in mediation.
Contact Our Fort Worth Collaborative Law & Mediation Attorneys
If you have any question about the collaborative law process, please contact the lawyers at The Law Office of Gary L. Nickelson. Our attorneys can be reached by phone at 817-735-4000, or you can complete our contact form to arrange an appointment.