Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Why Can't We Move Faster?

For many people, it seems like Collaborative cases should move very quickly.  These are generally parties who are emotionally ready for the divorce.  Most people go through several stages of emotions, when facing divorce -- anger, denial, bargaining and acceptance -- in various orders and degrees.  If they get a head start on their spouse and have reached a point where they are ready to be divorced, they often become impatient.  Then, they frequently have trouble putting up with a process that moves deliberately.

Here are some reasons why the Collaborative Law process may slow down.

1.  Collaborative cases can only go as fast as the slower party wants to go.  If one person isn't emotionally ready to be divorced, the process will have to move slowly.  We will follow the steps of the process, but it will be difficult to finish until both parties are ready.

2.  We need time between meetings.  We actually get a lot of work done between joint meetings.  Information is gathered and organized.  Parties and professionals have time to reflect on what's going on at meetings and to plan what to do at the future meetings.  The parties and attorneys meet or talk about the issues and consider different options. Getting work done between joint meetings saves time when we all get together.

3.  Scheduling is complicated.  With at least 6 people involved, it's hard to quickly have one meeting after another.

In the end, speed is a relative concept.  What seems fast to someone not ready for a divorce may seem very slow to someone ready to get married to a new spouse or to start over as a single person.  However, generally, a Collaborative divorce with issues to be decided can move much quicker than a contested divorce.  If someone is judging the Collaborative process against the minimum waiting period of 60 days in Texas, any time exceeding 60 days seems very slow.  Unfortunately, that's the wrong standard for comparison.  If you think the process is dragging, please discuss with your attorney how long your divorce might take if you were litigating it.  I'll bet you will feel better with Collaborative Law.

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