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High-End Divorce And Family Law Services

When it comes time to  end your marriage or resolve other critical family law issues, you need to handle it properly the first time. A do-it-yourself approach may work for people with few assets or no disputes to resolve. For people with more to protect, it is important to secure the services of skilled family law practitioners. You need an experienced attorney to protect your family and your financial interests during a challenging time.Your choice of attorney can strongly impact the outcome of your case. Many issues in family law are complex. There are traps for the unwary and mistakes that cannot be easily rectified. You must carefully evaluate your options and the available evidence to make the right decisions. At Harris Cook, LLP, we believe the outcome of your family law case depends on the level of service you receive from your lawyer.

Service Is The Difference

At Harris Cook, LLP, our attorneys take on a small number of divorce and custody cases at a time. As our client, your concerns will be fully addressed, your phone calls will be promptly returned and your legal issues will be dealt with in a thorough, careful manner.

When you work with Harris Cook, LLP, your lawyer will take an active role in every aspect of your case, communicating with you directly and guiding you through each decision you need to make. Just as we stay apprised of changes in the law and the development of legal issues that matter to our clients, we will make sure you remain as informed and prepared as possible for what will come next.

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Your Divorce And Your Assets

Many divorcing people are concerned about two essential issues: their children and their assets. For some individuals, protecting their property, including their business holdingsreal estate assets and retirement savings plans, is of utmost importance.The attorneys of Harris Cook, LLP, can help you safeguard what is yours and make sure you are treated fairly in the division of property. Whether your divorce is settled outside of court or litigated, we can provide the results-focused representation you need.

Four Things We Can Do

Just as there are multiple facets to your asset profile and your community and separate property, there are multiple approaches to how the division of property can be accomplished in your case. Harris Cook, LLP, can do four things to help you protect yourself:

  • Listen to your concerns: As your attorneys, we will make sure we understand all the financial and business elements of your divorce case before we develop a solution. We will be thorough in our analysis of your assets.
  • Explain how we can assist you: We can describe the divorce process and answer your questions about assets like family businesses, professional practices and the relationship between property division and spousal support, including whether spousal maintenance is available under the facts of your case.
  • Develop a strategy tailored to your specific needs: Our attorneys, often with the assistance of financial and accounting professionals, can make sure your assets are evaluated properly. We can develop a tailored strategy with the best chance of success.
  • Reach the best possible end result: Our lawyers can represent you skillfully in negotiations and legal proceedings, working toward the best possible outcome.

Explore Your Options

Managing Partner David Cook is board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Cook can help you explore your options for resolving your divorce and property division matters.

Schedule an appointment at our Arlington, Mansfield or Flower Mound offices. We can answer your questions.

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Real Estate And Property Division

One of your most important (and most personal) assets is your real property. If you are in the midst of a divorce, or you anticipate the end of your marriage, you may be concerned about how your real estate will be divided — especially your primary residence.The best way to protect your property is to work with an experienced attorney who understands asset division. Whether you anticipate conflict about who will keep your home or you believe you can resolve your divorce amicably, it is important to work with a law firm you trust.

Get The Answers You Need

The family law attorneys of Harris Cook, LLP, understand how real estate assets will figure into your divorce, and we can explain how the law applies to your case. Attorney David L. Cook is board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

We can provide clear answers to questions like:

  • Will we have to go to court to settle our divorce?
  • Who will get the house when the divorce is finalized?
  • Who will live in our house during the divorce process?
  • How do we determine the value of my home?
  • Will we divide our vacation property when we get divorced?
  • How will we divide commercial property and business interests?
  • How will property division, spousal maintenance or contractual alimony work together in my case?

Dividing real estate assets is a complex challenge that requires professional advice.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Case

Talk to Harris Cook, LLP, about your divorce case. Our offices are located in Arlington, Mansfield and Flower Mound, Texas.

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Protecting Your Business Assets In A Divorce

In the midst of a divorce, many business owners experience anxiety about what will happen to their assets. They want to be treated fairly during a difficult time.Perhaps you have worked hard to build and maintain your business interests. You may have questions about how to proceed:

  • How do I protect myself from being taken advantage of?
  • Is my spouse entitled to half of my assets?
  • How will we divide assets with subjective value? Who will determine their value?
  • Will my professional practice or small business be affected by the divorce?
  • Can you help me protect my stock options?
  • Will a divorce court make decisions about my business and my other assets? Are there other options?

Knowledgeable Representation For Business Owners And Their Spouses

At Harris Cook, LLP, we take the time to understand the needs of business owners who are facing the challenges of divorce and worried about dividing business assets. Our attorneys provide outstanding personalized service to a small number of clients. We have the ability to:

  • Clearly explain how asset division will play into your divorce
  • Obtain professional valuation of your property with the help of accountants and business experts
  • Seamlessly manage all aspects of your divorce case so you can concentrate on yourself and your children

Talk To A Lawyer Who Can Provide The Guidance You Need

Your situation is unique. You need a family law attorney with the knowledge and experience to protect your business holdings.

Harris Cook, LLP, has offices in Arlington, Flower Mound and Mansfield, Texas. Contact us to schedule an appointment with a skilled attorney who can help.

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Handling Your Divorce Case With Sensitivity And Tact

There’s no way to verbally express all the difficulties that come with a divorce. The pain can be debilitating. The anxiety and fear can make it difficult to think straight.There are no easy answers to the challenges of divorce. If you have questions about the best way to protect your childrenyour assets and your sanity, talk to an experienced attorney you trust. Lawyers with Harris Cook, LLP, have been a trusted source of family law representation for decades.

Four Things You Can Do

If you are on the verge of a divorce or you are anticipating the end of your marriage, we recommend four basics:

  • Think about your priorities. Whether you are concerned about your kids’ well-being, your property, support payments, your career or all of the above, consider what is most important to you as you enter the divorce process.
  • Understand that you have choices. Contrary to popular opinion and friendly advice, there is more than one way to handle a divorce. Make sure you learn about different approaches to divorce.
  • Get the legal advice you need. Evaluate your options and get your questions answered before you do anything. Get the help of a lawyer who will take the time to get to know you and the specifics of your situation.
  • Take care of yourself. It is important to make sure you look out for your own needs and stay healthy, especially if you have children. Get the support you need through reliable friends, family members, your church, counselors or other means.

Managing partner David Cook concentrates much of his practice on divorce cases, including complex and high-asset divorce cases. He is board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Contact Us | Schedule A Consultation

Talk to a divorce attorney at Harris Cook, LLP, about your case. Our offices are in Arlington, Mansfield and Flower Mound.

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Protecting Your Property During A Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, you may feel like your emotional and social life is falling apart. The last thing you need is to be worried about your financial life, as well.Harris Cook, LLP, attorneys can help you safeguard what belongs to you while working to resolve the legal details of divorce and custody. We understand the additional pressures that come with the division of property.

Experienced With High-Asset Divorce Cases

At Harris Cook, LLP, we concentrate a substantial portion of our practice on divorce cases that involve significant assets. Attorney David Cook is board-certified in family law,* which indicates a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of divorce.

We can help you find answers to your most difficult questions:

  • Is my ex entitled to half my property? Why or why not?
  • What will happen to property and money that was mine before I got married?
  • What will happen to assets that were inherited?
  • How do I protect my custody rights without engaging in a harmful legal battle?
  • I don’t want a judge to make important decisions about my family. Is there a way to do the divorce without going to court?
  • How do I protect my business assets in divorce? How do we determine the value of those assets?
  • Who will get our home and other real estate holdings?
  • Will I pay or receive alimony (spousal support) during and/or after the divorce? If so, is a lump-sum preferable to ongoing support?

Get The Legal Advice You Need

Contact us to schedule an appointment with a divorce lawyer who can provide the specific advice you need. Harris Cook, LLP, has offices in Arlington, Mansfield and Flower Mound, Texas.

*David L. Cook is Board-Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Child Support

Child Support is essential for the care and well-being of a minor child. When parents divorce or separate, or have never married, and there are minor children involved, the state of Texas requires establishment of sufficient monetary support for those children. A Harris Cook, LLP, Child Support Attorney can help you make decisions about support and other Family Law issues that arise when there are problems within your family that affect minor children.

Harris Cook, LLP, Child Support Attorney

Texas regulations for child support and custody issues are very complex and detailed, under Family Code Title 5, Subtitle A, Chapter 154 – Court Ordered Child Support. When you work with our Harris Cook, LLP, Child Support Attorney, you have someone on your side who will work tirelessly for you, and act on behalf of the best interests of your minor child. We know how to investigate personal matters to determine the proper amount of support required to be paid to help provide care for your child, their needs, education and any other special expenses. We are experienced in putting together the necessary evidence for you to be successful in court and will argue strongly on your behalf for reasonable child support levels.

Texas Child Support

Texas child support is ordered by the courts on behalf of minor (under age 18) children, to provide adequate funding for their care and needs. This includes shelter, food, clothing, educational expenses and more items that children must have until they are adults. Support can also be ordered for children over age 18 who are disabled if the disability occurs before the child reaches the age of 18.

Child support in Texas is calculated by several elements, including the physical, mental and emotional needs of the child, as well as the ability of parents to provide adequate support and care. When a parent is named as the Conservator with the right to receive and give receipt for support of the child, they are expected to provide a safe environment and maintain contact with the other parent and family members. This is all in the best interests of minor children; exceptions can be made by the Court when domestic violence or other harm is an issue.

Texas Family Law Attorney

Our Harris Cook, LLP, Texas Family Law Attorney is familiar with the Office of the Attorney General and their Child Support Division. The Child Support Division works on every case to help locate parents, establish paternity, set and enforce support orders, review payment levels and make collections and distributions of those payments. We can help you navigate through this complex process to obtain your goals and best results for your children.

Harris Cook, LLP – Arlington, Mansfield & Flower Mound, TX

To discuss your Child Support issues in confidence, contact Harris Cook, LLP, offices in Arlington, TX, Mansfield or Flower Mound. Call us now, at 817-789-6842.

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Relocation And Custody

The one constant in life is change, especially during or after a divorce. Careers, relationships and children’s needs can prompt a parental relocation that impacts custody or parenting time. These events may require the assistance of an experienced attorney.In some cases, it may be necessary for one parent to move because of:

  • A new job that requires you to move out of town or out of state
  • Remarriage or a new relationship that involves a move
  • A better school situation for your kids

In general, a parent needs to get a judge’s permission before moving away with his or her child. In most cases, the child’s other parent needs to consent to a relocation that violates the current divorce or custody order (which often sets a geographical restriction that determines how far away a custodial parent may move).

Get Legal Advice If Your Situation Has Changed — Or Your Ex Wants To Move

The attorneys of Harris Cook, LLP, can provide the legal advice and representation you need. We can answer questions that are specific to your situation, like:

  • What rights do I have if I want to move out of Texas?
  • How far away can I move with my child without having to go to court?
  • What if I don’t want my spouse to move to another city with my child?
  • Will moving have an impact on my child support arrangements?
  • Can my relocation issue be resolved outside of court? Can mediation be used?

Every situation is different. Our firm has extensive experience with challenging custody matters of all kinds.

Contact Harris Cook, LLP | Get Your Questions Answered

Contact our office to schedule a consultation about your custody or visitation concerns. Our attorneys can answer your questions and help you develop a plan of action. We are located in Arlington, Mansfield and Flower Mound, Texas.

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The Challenges Of Custody

Texas courts and parents all want the best possible outcome for their minor children and to reduce the effects a family break-up will have upon those children. Child custody involves many commitments, including emotional and financial support.One of the hardest things for parents to endure during a divorce or separation is making decisions about child custody. At Harris Cook, LLP, our board-certified family law attorney* has worked with many parents on important custody matters of all kinds.

Helping You Make Tough Decisions

At Harris Cook, LLP, our lawyers can help you make decisions that are in the best interests of your children, while protecting your own rights. Our family law attorneys have extensive experience with child custody, child support, visitation, parent and grandparent rights — all issues of great importance.

Our firm also offers excellent advice and legal representation to people who are interested in adoption, relocation or other modification of prior custody agreements and orders. We understand the strong emotions that are normal during a custody case. Our attorneys are skilled at handling informal settlement negotiations, mediating cases and providing collaborative lawservices in order to reduce conflict and increase privacy, but we also offer skilled representation for those who require a skilled, knowledgeable litigator at court appearances.

Setting The Children Up To Win

The main goal of custody arrangements is to provide the best possible parenting and home environment for children of a divorced or separated couple. Initial arrangements can also be modified later, as circumstances change. We have extensive experience working with families to reach positive parenting plans. We believe that children need strong family ties, even when their parents can no longer live together. If there is any domestic violence in a situation, we work carefully with custodial parents to reach results that are tailored to the best interests of the minor children.

Divorce, separation and the breakup of a family unit will have a lifetime effect upon minor children of any age. It is essential that parents work together to create child custody agreements and comprehensive parenting plans that benefit the children they both love and care about. We work closely with our clients to make that dream a reality.

Talk To Us About Your Concerns

Contact Harris Cook, LLP, in Arlington, Mansfield or Flower Mound, Texas, today for answers to your questions about divorce and child custody matters.

*Managing partner David L. Cook is board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Grandparents And Custody Rights

As a grandparent, you want to make sure your grandchildren are safe and happy. If there are problems, you may want to know what your rights are as a grandparent.In some cases, grandparents want to obtain legal custody of their grandkids, either on a temporary or permanent basis. At Harris Cook, LLP, our family lawattorneys provide guidance to grandparents regarding their legal rights. We can advise you if:

  • Your son or daughter is going through a difficult divorce or custody battle
  • Your grandchild’s parent is abusing alcohol or drugs
  • One of your grandchildren’s parents is behaving abusively or irresponsibly
  • Your grandchild’s mother or father is incarcerated or facing criminal charges
  • Mental health issues may be endangering your grandson or granddaughter

What Legal Rights Do I Have?

Texas law can be complicated when it comes to grandparents (and other nonparents) and custody or visitation rights. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to petition a court for custody of a grandchild. If permanent custody is not a viable option, temporary custody or favorable visitation arrangements may be possible.

Our firm can help you articulate your concerns and explore your options. Managing Partner David L. Cook is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Cook has extensive experience negotiating and developing workable custody arrangements.

Contact Us To Get Your Questions Answered

Every custody situation is different. Talk to one of our lawyers about your specific custody concerns. We have offices in Arlington, Mansfield and Flower Mound, Texas.

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Primary Custody Of Your Children

As a loving parent, you want to make sure your children are properly cared for, and you want to be certain your relationship with your kids is as strong as possible. Divorce can have an impact on the amount of time you spend with your children, which brings up questions about which parent will be awarded primary custody.At Harris Cook, LLP, we have extensive experience with child custodymatters. We provide effective representation to clients who wish to reach the best possible outcome in their divorce and custody cases. And we provide a high level of personalized service to the small number of clients we serve.

Questions About Primary Custody Of Your Children

You may be wondering if it is possible to obtain primary custody of your child or children. Every case is different, and we will work to develop all the relevant factors in your case.

We can answer your questions that relate to this important issue:

  • Will I (or my child’s other parent) be given temporary custody of my son or daughter?
  • How will the amount of child support relate to our custody arrangements?
  • If I am a stay-home parent, do I have a greater chance of being awarded primary custody?
  • How are visitation (parenting time) arrangements made?
  • Can we settle our custody matter without having to go to court?
  • How can I make sure I am treated fairly with regard to custody and visitation schedules?

Contact Us For A Case Evaluation

Talk to a lawyer at Harris Cook, LLP, about your important custody matter. We can evaluate your case, explain your options and help you develop a strategy to protect your rights.

The firm has offices in Arlington, Mansfield and Flower Mound, Texas. We welcome the opportunity to serve you.

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Temporary Custody

Under certain circumstances, parents of minor children may need to obtain a temporary custody order from Texas courts. At Harris Cook, LLP, our Family Law Attorneys have worked with many parents, grandparents, and other relatives to determine temporary custody arrangements that are in the best interests of minor children. Temporary agreements or court-ordered terms for custody may be made while a divorce or a suit to modify children issues is pending.

Harris Cook, LLP, Family Law Attorney

It is the public policy of the State of Texas to assure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child, to provide a safe, stable and nonviolent environment for the child, and to encourage parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage. Courts can and will grant temporary custody and visitation orders to enforce this policy. In certain situations, grandparents, siblings, and other relatives can seek temporary custody or visitation rights. Our Harris Cook, LLP, Family Law Attorneys are familiar with the many details of Texas child custody laws. We have helped many clients obtain temporary child custody until a permanent order is issued by the courts.

Texas Child Custody

Regulations for Texas Child Custody are included in the Texas Family Code, Title 5, including Subtitle B, Chapter 153 – Conservatorship, Possession, and Access. The Texas courts work to ensure the best care and environment for minor children. Parents who wish to seek custody of their children have many opportunities available to help them in their quest. Parenting classes and guidance are available, including special classes regarding the effects of divorce and custody disputes on the children.

Temporary Custody

In special circumstances, it is possible to obtain a temporary custody order for conservatorship of minor children. There are many reasons to have your Harris Cook Family Law Attorneys help you file for temporary custody, even if you and the other parent are in agreement. The wording in your order is very important so that the Courts can enforce the order if it is violated. The temporary custody order is in effect until modified or finalized by a judge.

Texas Family Law Attorney

There are many benefits to working with the Harris Cook, LLP, Texas Family Law Attorneys. With our extensive experience in Family Law and Child Custody/Support matters, we know where to look for creative solutions and how to fit solutions in sync with Texas Custody laws. Our Mediation and Litigation attorneys work closely with parents and other family members, to help speed up the process and keep costs to a minimum for you. Best of all, we want to help you parent successfully by putting the best interests of your minor children into the heart of all actions.

Harris Cook, LLP – Arlington, Mansfield & Flower Mound, TX

For more help with Child Custody and Temporary Custody matters, contact Harris Cook, LLP, offices in Arlington, TX, Mansfield or Flower Mound. Call us now, at 817-789-6842.

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Divorce And Spousal Support

Although the divorce rate in Texas is not the highest in the nation, it is significant at about 4.7 per 1,000 people. There were 111,409 divorces filed in the state during 2014. After filing for divorce, it takes a minimum of 60 days to complete the process and obtain a finalization for an agreed divorce. If there are any contested issues, it can take up to a year or even longer to finalize.For some people, one of the most important aspects of the process — both during and after a divorce — involves the division of assets and the ordering and payment of ongoing spousal support, which is commonly known by many people as alimony. In Texas, the courts cannot award traditional alimony. Chapter 8 of the Texas Family Code allows the court to order spousal maintenance in certain circumstancesThe experienced family law attorneys of Harris Cook, LLP, can help you understand the divorce process and explain whether spousal maintenance may be available in your case, and if so, for how long and how much. In some cases, the parties can reach an agreement for contractual alimony to complete a property division agreement. Our lawyers can help you evaluate whether this is advisable in your case.

Helping Families Get Through Turbulent Times

At Harris Cook, LLP, our family law services are overseen by lawyer David L. Cook, who is board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Our firm has helped many families get past their turbulent times of discord, through mediation, collaborative divorce and in the courtroom. We can answer alimony-related questions like:

  • Am I entitled to alimony or spousal maintenance?
  • Will I have to pay spousal support to my ex?
  • Are spousal support and child support determined exclusively of each other?
  • Will I just pay or receive temporary spousal support, or will it be ordered long-term?
  • In my case, is a lump-sum settlement better than contractual alimony?
  • Will I have to go back to work?
  • How will our assets be evaluated during the divorce?

Contact Us For A Case Evaluation

Talk to an experienced lawyer for alimony (spousal support), asset division and child support. Harris Cook, LLP, has offices in Arlington, Mansfield and Flower Mound.

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Adoption

Many Texans are parents because they decided to adopt a child in need. Adoption is an important option for both the children and people who wish to become adoptive parents. It is included under Texas Family Law regulations. There are many requirements that adoptive parents must meet, including age, income and their ability to provide a safe and supportive environment for the children they want to care for as their own. A home study is also required before you are allowed to adopt a child.

Harris Cook, LLP, Family Law Attorney

Our Harris Cook, LLP, Family Law Attorneys serve many people who wish to adopt a child or give up a child to adoptive parents. We help people to prepare for applications for Adoption, and we know the rules that must be met for approval. We can do background checks for you,
conduct investigations and provide complete legal support for your efforts to adopt.

There are many reasons why children enter the system and are available for adoption by people other than parents or relatives. Some have been abused; others are unwanted by their own parents for a variety of reasons. If parents are not able to properly care for children, they may want to provide better opportunities for those children by placing them up for foster care or adoption.

Texas Child Adoption

Texas cares about children; this is easy to see when you look at the attention given to Adoption. In 2007, Texas began a new incentive to encourage adoptions by naming the Saturday before Thanksgiving Day in November as its official Adoption Day. Texas child adoptions doubled over the past decade, up from 2,512 in 2004 to 5,149 in 2014.

This state program is a wonderful success, generating approximately one-fifth of all Texas adoptions during the month of November. Despite those impressive numbers, there are many more children in need of adoption. At of the end of September 2014, there were 6,596 children available for adoption in Texas foster care.

Texas Family Law Attorney

If you want to adopt a child or are pregnant and believe adoption is the best alternative for your expected child, get legal advice and representation from one of the experienced Harris Cook, LLP, Family Law Attorneys before you make any decisions. There are many issues to consider when you are attempting an adoption; we understand the complexities of adoption services and state laws that apply to this important alternative method for providing for children.

Harris Cook, LLP – Arlington, Mansfield & Flower Mound, TX

To discuss Adoption with a legal professional in confidence, contact the Harris Cook, LLP, offices in Arlington, TX, Mansfield or Flower Mound. Call us now, at 817-789-6842.

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Attractive Alternatives To Divorce Litigation

There are different ways to go about ending a marriage. One of them is by fighting in court. But since divorce litigation can be emotionally and financially draining — and potentially very damaging to the children of the marriage — it is important to explore other options when it’s realistic.For some divorcing couples, collaborative law provides a better way than litigation. An approach often categorized under alternative dispute resolution (ADR), collaborative divorce focuses on common ground, favors dignified proceedings and works for the preservation of family ties and financial assets.

Privacy, Power And Better Outcomes

Harris Cook, LLP, provides collaborative law services to clients wishing for a more peaceful, less damaging approach to divorce. It provides several outstanding benefits:

  • Privacy: With collaborative law, your divorce case is not a public matter that is described in public court records.
  • Empowerment: Collaborative law allows the stakeholders to have more decision-making power regarding their own lives and families.
  • Long-term success: Collaborative divorce aims to provide the best possible long-term outcomes for everyone involved — not quick wins at someone else’s expense.

Putting Yourself In The Driver’s Seat

“In a traditional litigated divorce, the process is too often a zero sum game, where one party views the spouse’s loss as his or her gain,” said David L. Cook, who manages the family law practice area for Harris Cook, LLP. (Cook is also a member of the Collaborative Lawyers of Arlington and Mansfield, C.A.L.M). “But the traditional litigation approach takes a lot out of both parties, in terms of their emotional well-being, and it doesn’t always lead to the best long-term solutions on either side.”

“Rather than taking a combative approach to the division of assets or child custody agreements, a collaborative divorce employs a neutral negotiator to help both parties identify their goals and then develop a plan that achieves those goals,” he said. “Furthermore, it puts both parties in the driver’s seat in terms of controlling their future, rather than placing their fate in the hands of a complete stranger who wears a big black robe. It is a divorce solution that leaves your financial assets, family ties and dignity intact,” Cook said.

Even with a somewhat contested case, many elements of collaborative law can be incorporated into a more cooperative process to ease the strain on the parties.

Talk To An Experienced Divorce Attorney | Explore Your Options

Collaborative law may or may not be right for you. Contact Harris Cook, LLP, to schedule an appointment.

Our attorneys can help you understand your options. Our firm has offices in Arlington, Mansfield and Flower Mound, Texas.

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Need a Custom Solution?

Talk To A Harris Cook Attorney About Your Legal Needs. We Can Answer Your Specific Questions And Help You Develop A Strategic Plan Of Action.  Contact Our Office To Schedule A Case Evaluation.

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