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What Is a Collaborative Law Agreement?

Many Texas couples who are going through a divorce have a list of options in front of them and may have a difficult time deciding on which option to choose. In many cases, court proceedings are lengthy and expensive. Another option in addition to litigation in court, such as collaborative divorce, may be beneficial to the divorcing couple because it can help them come to an amicable agreement.

Since Collaborative Law procedures demand that the spouses, along with their attorneys, agree to draft a written Collaborative Law agreement prior to initiating the procedure, it is one of the preferred methods of divorce.

A Collaborative Law agreement is based on good faith when it comes to dealing with the various issues relating to the divorce. The divorcing spouses and their attorneys also agree to suspend any court intervention during the Collaborative Law process. In such cases, necessary counseling is available if it is needed, as long as both spouses consent.

However, it should be noted that in the event that either or both spouses express their desire to withdraw their attorneys from the Collaborative Law process, the divorce settlement will not be concluded in that manner.

Any settlement that is reached during the Collaborative Law process should be considered a legal settlement by the attorneys after it meets certain criteria according to Texas law. The agreed-upon settlement, which has been reached after discussions and other formalities according to the process, cannot be revoked by either party at any point. The settlement will be binding for both spouses. The Collaborative Law agreement must not only be signed by the divorcing spouses but also by their attorneys in order for the agreement to be formally and legally binding.

Source: American Bar Association, “Collaborative law,” June 7, 2007