Collaborative Law Mediated Settlements

One of the keys to successful mediated settlements, collaborative law settlements, informal settlements or negotiated resolutions of divorces involving children is whether the parents focus on shared interests rather than individualized positions. We recently assisted a foreign-born resident in a divorce from his foreign-born wife. Both considered the possibility of moving back to their country of origin. Each parent was very active in the life of the child and when they separated, the spouse that left the family home took up a residence that was literally minutes away. Each stayed fully engaged in the parenting of the child. Each parent knew, instinctively and pragmatically, that significant involvement in the life of the child was a shared interest that had to be protected if they were going to reach the best possible outcome.

What ensued was a detailed parenting agreement with specific conditions that kept the child’s life stable. It provided for very flexible shared parenting time; flexible conditions for educational decision making; shared rights, powers and duties; the absence of a primary conservator and a primary residence; and a possession schedule in specific stages that allowed for a possible relocation of the child with one parent to their joint country of origin, after the expiration of five years. The parties reached agreements on separate possession schedules A) while both parents lived in Harris County, B) if one parent relocated with the child to their country of origin or C) if both parties relocated. The latter version even had a geographical restriction in the foreign country. The parties agreed on holiday possession schedules recognized in Texas and in their country of origin and worked out other contingencies based upon the residence of each party. They even worked out an extremely rare agreement to convert child support into an educational trust.

This detailed, nonstandard agreement supported the interests of both the child and the parents and was resolved by two parents working closely together for the benefit of the child and each other. Specific details were solidified in mediation. The case was resolved in a favorable manner, for far less cost than a traditional divorce and in a very short period of time.

What sets Connolly & Shireman apart from other firms is our flair for resolving complicated and unique family law disputes. Whether you need a typical divorce, a standard or nonstandard parenting agreement, a collaborative divorce, a mediated settlement or any other form of dispute resolution, the legal team at Connolly & Shireman will match our expertise to the facts at hand and will work to achieve your goals for your case.

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