The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges in each of our lives. With Texas courthouses and law offices working reduced hours or remotely, there are many reasons why a collaborative approach may be the ideal method for resolving a divorce in the times we find ourselves in. Kris Algert, a partner in GoransonBain Ausley’s Austin office explores the top five reasons why a collaborative divorce may be the best route for your divorce.
Below is a list of the top five reasons a Collaborative Divorce could be more attractive during Coronavirus social distancing and quarantine:
1. Clients control the timeline. Collaborative Divorce participants do not rely on the courts or judges (or rules of procedure) to set deadlines or timelines for the case. All Collaborative Divorces move as fast or as slow as the spouses want to move.
2. Solution-focused problem solving. Collaborative Divorce participants can resolve all the same issues that traditional divorce participants can resolve including:
- Whether or who moves from the marital residence
- How parents will share time with children
- How the financial needs of the children will be met
- How will bills get paid
3. Team of specialists. Collaborative Divorce participants have the opportunity (but not the obligation) to work with other experts to help them with specific parts of their case, and these experts often bill their time a lower rate than the lawyers. A mental health professional with Collaborative Divorce training, can meet with a couple to discuss the parenting plan and to help identify a spouse’s interests, goals and concerns. A financial professional can meet with a couple to compile all of the needed financial information, create an inventory of the marital estate, and work on budgeting and other financial issues. Use of these other professionals often is a more efficient use of financial resources.
4. Collaborative Divorce can save money. For example, if there is any need to value any assets (a house, a business, etc), only one valuation expert is hired, only by agreement, and the expert is neutral—meaning the expert is asked to do only their job and not to advocate for one spouse over another.
5. Collaborative Divorce offers creative solutions. Because participants are not relying on courts for answers, spouses are free to explore a lot of creative solutions to the issues presented in the case. This could go a long way as our stock market goes up and down, spouses may or may not have employment, children may or may not return to school, and no one knows how long our lives will be turned upside down. Collaborative Divorce participants may think of other outcomes better for their family that are not offered by the Texas Family Code.
If the decision has been made to move forward with a divorce during this COVID-19 pandemic period, then you may want to give thoughtful consideration to proceeding per the Collaborative Divorce process.
Kris Algert is one of the most experienced Collaborative Family Lawyers in Austin and has been named a 2020 Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” for Collaborative Law in the Austin area. She is knowledgeable on the impact of divorce on children, and works with clients to develop effective co-parenting relationships.
To learn if Collaborative Divorce is the right solution for your divorce, please contact Kris Algert at 512-454-8791.