Jane-Ashley McMillan, Attorney at Law

Is collaborative law better for divorcing LGBT couples?

The end of a marriage is a complex and challenging process, especially for Texas LGBT couples. There are specific issues that are unique to these couples, and these issues can add a layer of complications to divorce. This is why many couples consider a collaborative divorce over the traditional route of a litigated divorce.

If you are preparing to move forward with divorce, there are many reasons why you may want to think about the benefits of collaboration. This process can allow you to avoid the courtroom, and you will be more likely to have more control over the terms of your final divorce order. You do not have to get along with or even like the other party for this form of dispute resolution to work. Both parties simply have to commit to working through the process in a reasonable and respectful manner.

What is it? 

Collaborative divorce is two parties working with various professionals and their attorneys to come to a reasonable and mutually satisfactory resolution to their divorce concerns. LGBT couples can use the collaborative process to divorce in a setting that is respectful and less contentious. Consider the following as you think about whether collaboration is right for you:

  • Both parties will have to sign a written agreement that states their commitment to the collaborative law process.
  • Parties will negotiate to reach an agreement, and they will disclose all information and documents relevant to their divorce.
  • Collaboration can help two opposing parties reach an agreement on things related to child custody, property division and spousal support.
  • There is no third-party mediator, but the attorneys can help the two parties negotiate an agreement.
  • Collaboration sometimes brings in professionals, like financial advisors and psychologists, to help the two parties reach a final agreement. 

For LGBT couples, collaboration provides them with the opportunity to address the concerns and issues that may be unique to their situation. This process can be beneficial in cases where custody and other matters are particularly complex.

An experienced advocate

Just because you are not going to court does not mean that you cannot benefit from the assistance of an experienced family law attorney during collaboration. It is in your interests to have an advocate to guide you through every step of this process and help you make choices that are in your long-term interests. If you are unsure of how collaboration could benefit you or what is best for your situation, it can be helpful to reach out for a case evaluation.

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