WYNNE LAW FIRM
Fort Worth Family Law Attorneys
Lawyer’s Role In Collaborative Law Process
Why do I need a lawyer for a collaborative law divorce process?
Couples who get along well, as well as those who wish to minimize conflict and involvement of the legal system in their family affairs often express frustration at the prospect of hiring a lawyer. After all, isn’t the goal to collaborate? And isn’t a lawyer an unnecessary needless expense?
Absolutely not. If you are going the collaborative law route, you need a lawyer—perhaps even more so than if you were litigating. A lawyer ensures that the agreements you and your spouse reach are legally enforceable. A lawyer can also prevent you from being unfairly manipulated, particularly if the other side has a skilled attorney. Your divorce might be collaborative, but that doesn’t mean your spouse isn’t looking out for number one. Hiring a lawyer levels the playing field, making sure each of your interests are fairly represented.
Won’t having a lawyer during the collaborative law process make things more contentious?
We understand how you might worry about this, but hiring a lawyer actually minimizes conflict. Your lawyer can help ensure your expectations are fair and reasonable. Your attorney can also communicate with the other side on your behalf when things are tense, minimizing the potential for conflict. With our combined 110 years of experience in Texas divorce, we know how to help divorcing couples communicate. Our job is to keep conflict to a minimum, because conflict serves no one—not even lawyers.
Can my ex and I have the same lawyer for collaborative law?
It might seem more collaborative for you and your ex to share a lawyer. This is a recipe for disaster. Each party needs to have their interests fairly represented by someone they can be completely honest with. When you and your ex share a lawyer, honesty becomes more difficult. You might not want to tell your lawyer everything, and you may inadvertently create a conflict between your lawyer’s obligation to you and your ex. With a decision as serious as divorce, everyone needs their own legal team advocating for their needs and advising the based on full and complete information.
My ex and I don’t get along. Can collaborative law still work for us?
Yes! We’ve found that collaborative law may actually be the best option for couples who had high-conflict marriages. The problem with the traditional divorce process is that it is a high stakes game that often exacerbates conflict. There are winners and losers. People who once loved each other treat one another like strangers, or even enemies. For couples who don’t get along, or who have significant conflict, the traditional legal divorce process only serves to exacerbate the problems they face in their marriage.
The only criteria for entering into a collaborative law divorce is that you and your ex must want to work together. You don’t have to know how to work together, or be good at managing conflict. That’s what we’re here for. But if you’re committed to collaborating collaborative law can help. The friendly, family-oriented process can reduce conflict. It may even help you master skills that can help you limit conflict when your divorce is finalized.
WYNNE LAW FIRM
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Craig, Family Law Client
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