Monday, December 22, 2014

 


Attorneys
Regan Armstrong, Houston, Tx
Manny Caiati, Houston, Tx
Beverly Gibson, Houston, Tx
Liza Greene, Houston, Tx
Craig Haston, Houston, Tx
Deborah Lawson, Houston, Tx
Christine Lincoln, Houston, Tx
Julia Lovorn, Houston, Tx
Ernest Martin, Houston, Tx
Amy Thomas Perez, Spring, Tx
Reid Perry, Houston, Tx
Lisa Thiele, Houston, Tx

Financial
Candace Hurt
Karen H. King
Kevin Pinkley
Edna “ET” Thompsen

Metal Health Professionals
Nancy Eisenberg
Patricia Martinez
Dr. Richard Palazzolo, Ph.D.
Angela Soper

Call one of our Attorneys to find out more information

 

WHAT IS COLLABORATIVE LAW?

Collaborative Law is a unique process used to resolve family law and divorce disputes in which both parties retain separate lawyers whose only job is to help the parties settle their cases.  It is a process of open communication between the parties and their respective lawyers.  All of the participants agree to work together in a settlement-oriented manner.  They agree to be respectful, honest and to participate in good faith to try to reach an agreement in a no conflict setting, which meets the interests of both parties.

WHY USE THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS?

Settling Issues

The collaborative law process primarily entails informal discussions and four-way conferences for purposes of settling the issues.  The parties and their lawyers commit to resolving differences justly and equitably without resort to court proceedings.  The process utilizes informal discovery, such as the voluntary exchange of documents and the use of agreed upon neutral experts.  The lawyers assist the clients in determining the information both parties need in order to reach a settlement.  Each party’s questions and concerns are respected and addressed in a reasonable and dignified atmosphere.

Problem Solving

Collaborative law uses problem-solving negotiations that do not include adversarial techniques or tactics.  Collaborative lawyers are specially trained in interest-based negotiation, which focuses on ascertaining and meeting the clients’ expressed goals, needs, and desires.  Although the lawyer still advocates for the client in the collaborative process, there is no posturing, no threatening, and no deception utilized to reach the most satisfactory conclusion for the client.  The parties are responsible for the outcome.  Parties work with their lawyers to understand the legal consequences, both for themselves and the other party.  The collaborative process is designed to achieve each party’s best possible outcome under the circumstances.

Cooperation

Whereas the traditional litigation model is based upon advocating one party’s position, the collaborative law model encourages understanding of the other party’s interest and concerns. Collaborative law offers the parties an opportunity to learn interest-based negotiating techniques that will facilitate their ability to cooperate with each other in the future.

Stay Out of Court

Given the opportunity to craft more creative property and custodial arrangements than the adversarial process allows, the parties can address methods of resolving disputes as they arise that will keep them out of the court system and minimize the possibility of future conflicts.

Creativity and Flexibility

When parties are committed to settlement and litigation is not an option, creativity and flexibility in problem solving becomes the norm.  If the parties feel that bringing in a third party would be helpful, they can utilize the services of a mediator for a session, or bring in an arbitrator or case evaluator to break the logjam of a knotty issue that is blocking settlement.  They may also elect to bring in a family therapist to assist in dealing with the emotional issues that are interfering with communication, or hire a financial planner to assist in budgetary considerations for both parties.  The possibilities are limited only by the imaginations of the parties and their commitment to settlement.

Cost

Finally, the parties could save money using the collaborative model.  As we agree to stay out of court, you will not face billing statements for time spent at court waiting your turn – and then having to re-appear.  We use one agreed expert as needed as opposed to each side having their own cutting expert fees in half. No formal discovery is done and no depositions are taken, both of which consume large chunks of billable attorney hours.  And ultimately, it’s your case and you control it – not the lawyers and not the judges.



"All attorney members are independent practitioners and have no business affiliation with one another unless otherwise stated.  Referrals are occasionally made by and between the attorneys on an as needed basis and within the confines of the rules of the State Bar of Texas.

"Northwest Houston Collaborative Family Law Professionals is a networking alliance of collaborative family law professionals and assumes no independent professional or legal responsiblity for the representation or services provided by its members.  The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal, financial or mental health advice. You should consult a professional for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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