Janice L. Green

Collaborative Law

After thirty years litigating, Janice Green chose to focus her law practice on Collaborative Family Law—an option sanctioned by Texas statutes. Collaborative Law (CL) is a less adversarial alternative for resolving differences outside the courthouse. Almost 95% of all divorces settle, and that was the driving force behind the development of CL. What are the potential benefits of using CL?

The practice of collaborative family law requires skills different from litigation. That is why attorneys must receive special training in CL. The positional bargaining of litigation gives way to interest-based negotiating in CL. You always have your confidential attorney-client relationship, but the attorneys also help clients forge their own satisfactory resolution, meeting their stated interests. This allows for a multitude of options to be explored which otherwise may never see the light of day.

CL attorneys only represent you in the CL process—they are prohibited from representing you in future litigation against your spouse and must withdraw should your case jettison into a litigation mode. This requirement facilitates a less adversarial environment. CL begins with a contractual agreement known as the Participation Agreement, moves forward by way of joint sessions with both spouses and attorneys, and maintains a structure with detailed minutes and agendas of the sessions. Neutral experts are used when agreed to by both parties. The use of a collaborative team—with the addition of a neutral financial professional and a neutral mental health professional (both trained in CL)—enhances the CL process in many ways. For more information about the Collaborative Family Law alternative, check out the website of the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas: