Sometimes, married couples in Dallas agree that their marriage, for whatever reasons, is at an end. As they choose to go their separate ways amicably, a top priority may be ensuring each other’s mutual well-being (and that of any children they share). For couples whose emotions run along these lines, there are legal options available to support their goals.

An example of one recent, high-profile and amicable divorce is that of the famous singer, Jewel, from her husband. The couple started dating in 1998 and were married for six years. They have a son together who was born in 2011.

Jewel announced earlier this month on her blog that the couple wants their divorce to be just as “loving” as their union, and that they have “no desire to damage ourselves and each other” as they separate. While the couple did not address child custody, they noted their wish to continue their friendship and mutual esteem, which they feel would be the best thing for their son.

This is certainly atypical of the usual breaking story about a celebrity divorce in the tabloids, but it might not surprise Dallas residents familiar with the trends in divorce in the United States. More and more often, couples are deciding together that they have reached the end of a marriage and simply want legal assistance to formalize property division and other arrangements. For them, collaborative law may be the right choice.

Collaborative law involves each spouse retaining legal representation with the single goal of reaching a settlement together. Parties agree to work towards this goal in the spirit of honesty and respect. Many agree that a collaborative law divorce is also a good way to protect children from negative emotions during a divorce.

Ultimately, collaborative law will not work for everyone. Many divorces are hotly contested for legitimate reasons. And even couples who go into the collaborative law process may not succeed, and will need to resort to litigation. But a legal professional can discuss this and other options with individual spouses or couples considering divorce in order to weigh the pros and cons of different legal approaches.

Source: CNN, “Jewel, husband Ty Murray to divorce,” Breeanna Hare, July 2, 2014