Collaborative Divorce

Turn conflict into collaboration.™

Briner Family Law Group can help you turn conflict and chaos into order and positive outcomes.  Collaborative Law, as well as other forms of negotiations, such as mediation and arbitration, can be utilized in your case to reach the best outcome in your divorce, custody suit or other family law matter.

Collaborative law is a non-adversarial process that views a family in divorce as a family in crisis with a series of problems to be solved, rather than a series of battles to be fought. The end goal is to meet the legitimate needs of everyone involved in a restructured family. With the focus on problem solving instead of adversarial representation, there is a strong likelihood conflict will be reduced, allowing the couple to resolve and reach agreements.

In the collaborative law process, a team of specially trained interdisciplinary professionals guide and support parties in a non-adversarial process to problem-solve and find mutually agreeable resolutions.  Many clients find the collaborative law process to be an excellent alternative to traditional divorce litigation because it takes clients from what can be the battleground of the court system and puts them into an alternative system which provides privacy and minimal court involvement. When the lawyers at Briner Family Law Group think Collaborative Law is a beneficial path for our client, we will recommend it. We also welcome clients’ questions regarding pursuing a divorce via the collaborative process rather than the traditional divorce litigation path.

There are many advantages to the Collaborative Law process. In the traditional divorce approach, the parties look to the court system and judges to resolve their dispute in a very public forum, often viewing the other as the adversary. This process can take a considerable emotional and financial toil on the parties.

The collaborative process has been used to resolve divorces in Texas since the 1990s, resulting in many cases with reduced conflict and expense. The process starts with both husband and wife retaining unaffiliated collaboratively trained attorneys who commit, in writing, not to go to court but instead to work together to help the couple reach agreements beneficial to all. The parties meet privately with their respective lawyers and possibly additional experts, called “neutrals,” who may include a child specialist, a financial professional, and divorce coaches, all of whom perform a valuable service helping to minimize conflict and cost by guiding the parties toward an amicable resolution.

Collaborative law is similar to mediation but differs in some significant respects. In mediation, a neutral third party (the mediator) facilitates the parties’ negotiation to help reach a settlement but cannot give legal advice, advocate for either side, or draft the final legal papers necessary. In collaborative law, both parties have independent lawyers present during negotiation to provide legal advice in an educational context, thereby empowering clients to make informed decisions about their lives and their children’s lives. When agreement is reached, the collaborative lawyers will prepare all the papers necessary and accompany the parties to court to finalize their case. If an agreement cannot be reached in the collaborative process to finalize the divorce, or if one or both parties choose to proceed to court, the attorneys and experts from the collaborative process are disqualified from proceeding further on an adversarial basis.

In addition to Collaborative Law, the family lawyers at Briner Family Law Group can negotiate settlements directly with attorneys for the other party and through the mediation process.  These choices of settlement approaches are one of the myriad of matters we discuss with our client.  Not every family law case should be taken to trial, and our attorneys are fully equipped to advise you on potentials risks and rewards. Mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods are indispensable tools to resolving family law matters.

Contact our family lawyers at (214) 935-5000 or by email to schedule an initial consultation.

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What our clients are saying

“Thank you for empowering my Mom during such a difficult transition. You took her by the hand, while she was learning to walk on her own. A year later, she is a much stronger woman now than she was during her marriage. Your advice and guidance has enabled her to stand on her own. Thank you.”

E.G., adult daughter of client

Thank you so much for all your guidance during the worst time of my life. Our case was very complicated and involved and if it wasn’t for you, I would have gone off the deep end. Your calm approach, your knowledge with every issue and your professional demeanor really kept me focused on the issues at hand. Hats off to your staff for being so patient and kind each and every time I dealt with them. I send you my biggest and sincerest “THANK YOU”!


“Not only did you guide me through the process with your legal skill, knowledge and experience, you remembered the names of our four kids the entire way through the case!  Marie, you were not just a lawyer – you cared about my kids, my legal position, and making sure that my kids and I were taken care of as much as you could.  Thanks so much!”


Thank you for all of your help during my family’s difficult and stressful time. I truly appreciate the care and understanding you gave me when I had nowhere else to turn. Both Josh and I have been able to heal and grow and could not have done so without you. You are a remarkable lawyer and a wonderful person. Thank you for everything you have done.


“Thank you, thank you, thank you. Words cannot express my deepest thanks and gratitude. A few months ago all I could feel was hopelessness, but thanks to you I now feel free of financial burden, abuse and control…. I was so amazed with your remarkable support, warmth, courage and defense. You are totally brilliant…. I will never forget all your hard work and dedication.”

– R.G.

“A divorce is an overwhelming stress and one where an attorney can make the process easier or more cumbersome. Thank you to Marie for focusing on my needs, both economically and emotionally. I learned so much about myself during this time and Marie was there to help guide me. Marie’s ability to see the big picture, while focusing on the details, has given me a wonderful lifestyle post divorce. Thank you Marie.”


“You never know what life is going to throw at you. When things seem to be falling apart, the greatest comfort is having someone you trust carry you through the tough times. Your expertise in the law, and in psychology and human behavior, gave me a sense of peace that things would be resolved in the best way – for me, and for my children. Now that we’re on the other side of our transition, I feel truly privileged to have had someone like you on my side. You are tough, compassionate, smart, and reasonable… and our outcome really represents the best situation for everyone involved. Thank you!