Divorce negotiations over thorny matters, like alimony and property division, often become contentious. This is especially true in states like Texas that have strict community property laws.
Mediation is a popular method used to resolve divorce matters outside of court. It can offer a less adversarial approach that focuses on finding common ground. However, it does not always lead to an agreement both parties can live with. When mediation does not settle all of the divorce issues, there are still options available to couples who wish to resolve their differences behind closed doors and avoid the costs and public spectacle of a court battle.
Collaborative law is an alternative dispute resolution method that is a mixture of mediation and traditional negotiation. The sessions are often conducted in an attorney’s office and both parties are represented by lawyers.
Collaborative law attorneys will attempt to help their clients reach an agreement at the negotiating table. If a settlement is unsuccessful during collaboration, the case goes to court. Unfortunately, the rules require both parties to find new lawyers in the event of litigation.
Texas is one of the states that allows divorce disputes to be settled through arbitration. Arbitration is more adversarial than mediation. Arguments are made, evidence is presented and a neutral arbitrator comes up with a decision. Parties willbe bound by the arbitrator’s decision if they agree to a binding arbitration session before it begins.
Mediation, collaborative law and arbitration are great alternatives to litigating cases in court. When alimony or property division disputes are decided by a judge, one or both of the parties leave the courtroom unhappy. If you and your husband or wife are prepared to make compromises at the negotiating table or during mediation or arbitration sessions, you will probably walk away with a more amicable agreement.