September 14, 2018 | Share
Getting Divorced in Texas: When Negotiations Break Down
For many married couples, getting divorced is an amicable process that involves working together to reach a mutually-agreeable resolution. While the spouses may have their differences, they share the same ultimate goal of ending their marriage as quickly and inexpensively as possible, and this goal can be a powerful motivator when it comes to negotiating in good faith and with an eye toward the future.
But, sometimes, negotiations break down. Even when spouses agree that they need to get divorced, and even when they both understand the basic legal principles involved (i.e. Texas’s community property rule and the guidelines for establishing child custody), they may still find that they are unable to come to terms. Perhaps both spouses want to stay in the family home. Perhaps both want to spend weekends with their children. Whatever the specific issue (or issues) may be, they are enough to force both spouses to throw their hands in the air.
Irreconcilable Differences During a “DIY” Divorce
This scenario is common with do-it-yourself (or “DIY”) divorces. When spouses try to get divorced using forms they found online, their negotiations lack the structure and guidance that are often necessary for success. Even with “informal” divorce negotiations where both spouses have their own attorneys, negotiation sessions often take place at the attorneys’ offices at scheduled times, the spouses (through their attorneys) often exchange information in advance, and their attorneys guide the negotiations while advising their clients and helping them stay on track.
If you have been trying to navigate a DIY divorce and the process hasn’t gone as you expected (or, perhaps, hoped), it is not too late to explore other alternatives. In fact, with a little bit of help and legal counseling, you and your spouse may still be able to negotiate an amicable divorce. Depending upon your individual circumstances, your options may include:
- Negotiation with Legal Representation – By working with experienced divorce attorneys (you and your spouse should each have independent legal representation), you and your spouse may be able to overcome the roadblocks that have prevented you from finalizing your divorce.
- Mediation – If negotiating is simply no longer an option, then you and your spouse may benefit from trying mediation. In mediation, each spouse is represented by his or her own attorney, and a neutral “mediator” offers suggestions for compromise while helping each spouse better understand the other’s point of view.
- Collaborative Divorce – The collaborative divorce process involves engaging the services of accountants, social workers and other professionals to narrow down points of conflict and find mutually-agreeable solutions. Collaborative divorce is often a good option when spouses are unable to reach a compromise on their own.
If you and your spouse cannot agree, will your divorce end up in court? Maybe. However, with the alternatives to litigation that are available, and with the shared interests of both spouses seeking a divorce, only a small percentage of divorces go to trial.
Speak With a McKinney, TX Divorce Lawyer for Free
If you need help resolving your divorce and would like to speak with an attorney, we invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with one of our experienced McKinney divorce lawyers in confidence, please call (214) 726-1450 or request an appointment online today.
Categories: Family Law & Divorce