How Quickly Can We Get This Done?
Sept. 1, 2022
1. Disclaimer: The following comments are based on “average” Collaborative cases in Tarrant County, Texas, and should not be considered any guarantee of specific timing or outcomes of Collaborative cases. In plain English, every case is different, so we can’t predict your outcome or timing.
2. In Tarrant County, an average Collaborative case often takes about 4 Joint Meetings. Joint Meetings are ones that include both parties, both attorneys and the other professionals working on the case. Average means some cases need fewer meetings and some require more. Sometimes, the parties want to move slowly and we can accommodate that.
3. There are also several “off-line” meetings with the parenting professional (MHP) and other off-line meetings with the financial professional (FP). Both professionals collect information from the parties about their respective issues. The FP reviews the information and discusses it with the parties and prepares a spreadsheet so the finances are easier to understand.
4. In my experience, in Tarrant County, an average, not-too-heavily contested Litigation divorce takes about 9-12 months. The more it is complicated it is, naturally the longer the case will take to resolve.
5. Again in Tarrant County, an average Collaborative case often takes 4-6 months to finish. But, the more complicated Collaborative cases will take longer. I have had several that have taken a year or longer, but there’s no reason to believe a litigated case would be more quicker.
6. Because of a backlog of cases related to Covid delays, litigated cases get scheduled for trial 9-15 months after a scheduling conference is held. That conference is usually 3-6 months after a case was filed.
7. Mediation helps settle many or most of the cases in the litigation system, but it rarely happens early in the process. It is normally scheduled just ahead of the final trial. You can expect several temporary hearings and extensive Discovery to take place before mediation. That adds to the cost and time spent prior to settlement.
8. The quickest resolution occurs when both parties are reasonable and both are willing to settle without heavy court involvement. The next quickest process is usually Collaborative Law, even with conflict over custody or over property division.
To get a good opinion for your case, talk with an attorney who has handled several Collaborative cases. You want someone with actual experience.