FIERCE COMPASSIONATE LAWYERS
The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C.

The Path to Your Piece of Mind
Divorce and Family Law Matters

We are now accepting clients statewide in Texas.

WE ARE WORKING!

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop and evolve, the safety, health and well-being of our clients and our team is extremely important to us. We are watching for the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and international medical experts to learn how we can best manage our facility and our clients.

We would like to reassure you that The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. will continue to be available to provide services to all of our clients.

Our lawyers and paralegals are working in the office and electronically, although most of us are working from home. Below is a list of FAQs regarding our response and commitment to you during COVID-19.

Can I even have a consultation with my lawyer remotely?

Yes, The Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. has a comprehensive remote working capability and all of our lawyers and paralegals are equipped to work securely from home.

Will my lawyer be available to answer questions and work on my case?

Yes, your legal matters will continue to receive our attention. You can email, call, or videoconference with your lawyer during this time.

We also have multiple videoconferencing options; please contact your attorney for the platform that works best for you

How are court hearings and appointments affected?

Court in Bexar County are now conducted by Zoom Please see our blog article Court via Zoom: It’s Actually, Really Court (and Here’s How It Works)

Can I consult with a lawyer about a new family law or divorce matter?

Yes, we have office staff working in house and remotely to ensure continuity in our business. For information about a family law or divorce matter, please call our office or complete the Request a Consultation Form.

Your family law matters remain our top concern and we are not going to permit this pandemic to take priority over your needs. We will remain confident, alert and prepared.

We wish you and your family well as we work through this difficult situation together.

With warm regards,
Lisa A Vance

 

 

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Your Collaborative Divorce Team: The Lawyer

| Jun 22, 2018 | Collaborative Divorce |

Many people who are thinking about collaborative divorce wonder how the process works. “If a lawyer isn’t going to fight in court for me,” some might even think, “will that lawyer really be able to stick up for me?” You can rest assured that even though the collaborative process takes going to court off the table, your lawyer will be as invested in what you want to get from your divorce decree.

When you’re getting a collaborative divorce, you’ll work with a specially trained lawyer to settle your divorce. The relationship between you and your lawyer will be fundamentally the same as it is in any other divorce. Once you’ve done the initial consultation to help determine that collaborative divorce is right for you, and once you’ve made clear what’s important to you in the divorce, you’ll be responsible for getting your paperwork together for the paralegal. Your lawyer will begin advocating for you based on what we hope is your full, honest disclosure about your situation.

The main difference in a collaborative divorce is how your lawyer and your spouse’s lawyer work together in what is known as “interest-based negotiation”. In a litigated divorce, the relationship is adversarial. Though a litigated divorce might be negotiated before it goes to court, the lawyers involved are aware they could end up in a courtroom facing each other, trying to win the case. And, therefore, they can only negotiate so much – they’re reined in somewhat by their need to prepare for a court battle.

In a collaborative divorce which is private and confidential, the lawyers pledge to work together at the outset to help the couple arrive at a settlement. In fact, if the couple decides they can’t negotiate any further and want to go to court, the collaborative lawyers must step down from the case, and the couple has to pick new lawyers to handle litigation. This commitment to the collaborative process keeps everyone invested – and it allows the lawyers to be more creative and (obviously) collaborative in getting to a settlement. This is a settlement process that creates an emotionally safe environment for the parties to express their interests and goals and come to a respectful resolution.

There’s a common analogy used in describing collaborative divorce, involving an orange. If you’re dividing the orange, you’d assume that the fairest way to do so would be to cut it in half. But let’s say one person wants the orange to make juice, and the other person wants the peel to make orange zest. That’s not the most obvious way to divide the orange, but if it satisfies both people the most, then it’s the best solution for them.

Often times, in litigation, a judge will divide assets and allot parenting time through the legal equivalent of cutting the orange in half. One side could perceive itself to win at the end of a court case, but it’s likely that neither side could be satisfied with the final outcome.

In collaborative divorce, by contrast, the settlement is negotiated in meetings between the parties and their lawyers. The lawyers will advocate for their clients in the negotiations, cognizant of what each party really wants from the divorce. If it’s possible for you to give up Y to get X, and X is really important to you, collaborative divorce allows you to negotiate that, and lawyers trained in collaborative divorce will know how to look for and seize upon those opportunities. (Whereas, in a litigated divorce, you might try to get both X and Y and end up getting Z instead, just because a judge thinks that’s the best solution, regardless of how compelling a case your lawyer makes on your behalf.)

If you’re interested in collaborative divorce, and think your situation is right for it, you’ll be able to confirm that in your initial consultation. Even high-conflict couples – with the right mindset and the right people helping the lawyers with the process – can successfully negotiate a collaborative divorce.

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