Informal Settlement Discussions
Some spouses are able to reach a settlement through informal discussions between the two of them without a more formal process. For those who are able to do that we can assist clients in reaching those agreements and prepare the necessary documents to memorialize the agreements in a legally binding manner. Lawyers are not permitted to represent both persons in a legal matter, so we can only represent one of the spouses. In that case, the other person may or may not chose to retain an attorney.
Collaborative Divorce is the practice and art of settling cases with legal counsel, but without court intervention at any time during the process. It is recognized under Texas law as dispute resolution process. All settlement discussions take place in joint meetings with the clients, their attorneys and other team members as needed. Each client has the benefit of their own attorney’s legal advice and advocacy during the entire process and each attorney is committed to guiding the clients toward reasonable resolutions that meet as many of the client’s stated goals and interests as possible. We look outside the box by exploring all real world options, not just what the law allows. The attorneys cannot go to court or threaten to go to court, nor can they engage in common trial tactics such as playing “hide the ball.” Settlement is the only agenda, and everyone relies on the atmosphere of cooperation and professionalism throughout the process.
The process addresses the legal, emotional and financial needs of the clients. We do this by engaging the services of neutral financial and mental health professionals.
We focus on the interests of the clients and their children to achieve settlements that are more tailored to the individual family, as opposed to the one-size-fits-all approach at the courthouse.
We are committed to the collaborative process and have significant training in interest-based negotiation. Jody L. Johnson is a member of Collaborative Divorce Texas, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and Collaborative Divorce Dallas. She has extensive experience in cases utilizing the collaborative process, and was awarded the distinction of “Master Credentialed Collaborative Professional” by Collaborative Divorce Texas (formerly the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Texas). She was awarded the distinction in 2017, their first time attorneys could apply.
Litigation is the traditional manner of resolving legal disputes, and it involves utilizing the court system for resolution. There are significant costs associated with the process, as well as significant emotional tolls on the adults and children. There are some instances in which this is the only option. Jody’s litigation work focuses on serving as an Amicus Attorney to protect the interests of children in family law disputes.