"My husband says we'll save a lot of money using the collaborative approach because we will share a lawyer. Is that really how collaborative family law works?"
No. Each client must retain his or her own divorce attorney. The value that one gains from collaborative family law is that all of the money is used to empower the parties to make the best decision possible.
Any savings the parties realize generally comes from their jointly retaining neutral experts, instead of each side paying for their own experts. For example, rather than each party hiring a different property appraiser, they hire one valuation expert to present them with an accurate valuation.
When children are involved, one mental-health expert can advise the parties as to the best interests of the children. By avoiding a battle of the experts, the clients can save money that would be better spent finding solutions that work best for both parties.
Patricia Baca is a collaborative family lawyer in Fort Worth, TX.