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Specialty tag(s): Collaborative Divorce

What is the Difference Between a Collaborative vs Litigated Divorce?

Curtis W. Harrison | July 28, 2022

Many people confronted by the prospect of divorce assume they must fight to achieve their goals. However, this is often because they don’t realize they have options about how to go through the divorce process. While litigation has its time and place, Collaborative Divorce is a great alternative that keeps cases private and clients in control.

What is a litigated divorce?

When divorcing couples cannot reach a final agreement by other means, court intervention may be necessary. A litigated divorce presents couples with a solution decided by a judge who has reviewed your case.

What is a Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce – also known as the collaborative law process – is a legal process where clients work together to determine what is best for their family. It allows spouses to retain greater control over the outcome of their case by resolving the divorce outside of court.

What are the advantages of a Collaborative Divorce over a traditional litigated divorce?

Part of the problem with the traditional litigated model is that it’s based on the concept of creating winners and losers in the courtroom setting. While that works for contract disputes or determining guilt or innocence in a criminal case, how do you determine a winner and a loser amid a family dispute brought in front of the public?

Collaborative Divorce, by design, is intended to be a private process entered into voluntarily between two spouses. When spouses agree to a Collaborative Divorce, there’s no hiding or secreting information. In fact, it is in everyone’s best interest to be completely transparent. Transparency allows the parties to make shared decisions based upon information that is revealed rather than what might have been concealed or unknown, as you would get in the litigated model.

Why does having a collaboratively trained divorce attorney matter?

The Collaborative Divorce model has a number of advantages over the traditional litigation model, but it starts by making sure that clients choose a collaboratively trained divorce attorney. It doesn’t guarantee that the case will proceed collaboratively, but it does allow the option of moving in that direction if each spouse jointly chooses to do so.


Many individuals go through a litigated divorce simply because they don’t know they have other options. A litigated divorce is playing a zero-sum game and trying to beat the other side at all costs, which usually winds up injuring both parties and the children caught in the middle of the conflict. Where litigation can be avoided, collaborative divorce is often a great solution for families.

Learn More

Curtis W. Harrison is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is Master Credentialed in the Collaborative Divorce approach. Curtis practices virtually throughout the State of Texas and in-person in the North Texas communities of Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, Grayson County, and surrounding cities.

If you want to learn more about whether traditional divorce litigation or Collaborative Divorce is the best divorce process for you, please contact Curtis W. Harrison at 214-473-9696.

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Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of family law and will guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you have the information you need to make wise decisions and prepare for the future.

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At Goranson Bain Ausley, we strive to deliver clarity about what comes next and confidence that you and your family’s future are more secure. Contact our team and discover how we can help you.

“I firmly believe that, equipped with the right team of collaborative professionals to guide you, you and your spouse will be able to negotiate an agreement that is more creative, more beneficial, and more satisfying than anything a perfect stranger in a black robe could devise.”

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