The divorce process can be the hardest thing that a divorcing person have ever had to do. Deciding how to proceed includes understanding the options that are available for pursuing the termination of the marriage. Barbara Runge strives to ensure that her clients have all the information, tools, and guidance available to resolve their case.
A divorce may be resolved through many methods, including traditional litigation, mediation, or the Collaborative Divorce process. Barbara has over 35 years of Family Law experience which gives her a special insight into the options and the ability to educate her clients on which approach will serve them best.
Collaborative Divorce is a divorce process that can address a client’s concerns over the privacy of their information. It is a process in which both parties agree to not go to court and involves a series of interest-based negotiations where the parties work to resolve their case with the assistance of their attorneys and third party neutrals. The neutrals help to facilitate communications and interpret financial matters in the case. It is a client driven process in resolving all of the issues in the case. Barbara strongly encourages her clients to consider the use of the Collaborative Divorce process.
A traditional divorce is often seen as going to court and asking the judge or jury to resolve the issues in a divorce case. The reality is that very few cases actually go to trial. The traditional divorce process involves negotiations between the attorneys to settle the case. If those negotiations fail, the case will proceed to mediation where a neutral mediator will attempt to reach a settlement. If mediation fails, the case will then be set for trial. A case that is resolved in a trial is the most expensive route and leaves important decisions to a third party who does not fully know the dynamics of the family. It is an attorney driven process whereas Collaborative Divorce is a client-driven process.
The mediation process is sometimes confused as a process separate from the traditional divorce process. (Mediation is a divorce case that is often court ordered as a method to resolve the case.) Most cases will settle at mediation. Mediation is typically a full-day process with a neutral, licensed mediator, who will meet separately with each client and his/her attorney. The mediator will present a series of proposals in an effort to find common ground on the issues of the case. The mediator will also provide insight about how a court may rule on those issues based on the Texas Family Code. Additionally, the mediator may point out how the settlement offer may be a better option than relying on the court to resolve the issue.
The Divorce Decree and Agreement Incident to Divorce
To legally end a marriage, a formal document called a Divorce Decree is required and the divorcing couple must adhere to the requirements in that document. The Divorce Decree and/or Agreement Incident to Divorce contain all of the division of assets and liabilities, as well as the provisions regarding child custody and visitation, child support, and spousal support provisions.