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The most important advice that I can give anyone in a potentially disputed case is this:
IT IS BEST FOR YOU, YOUR SPOUSE, AND EVERYONE ELSE INVOLVED TO AGREE AND COOPERATE!
My job is to help you find a way to make that possible using options such as negotiation, mediation, and Collaborative Law. This helps minimize the damage to you and your family that can be caused by contested litigation in court. Settling disputes by agreement and cooperation is less expensive, less time-consuming, less emotionally draining, more private, and more dignified than fighting in court.
Especially in cases involving children, I believe that it is critically important for parents to agree and cooperate with each other. When this is just not possible, we may have no choice but to fight a battle in the court system. But going through such a battle in the adversarial court system is almost always detrimental to the well-being of the children and the parents. Once the parents engage in the battle, they are less likely to be able to cooperate in the future. Since cases involving children can be brought back to court later, such parents may find themselves in court year after year. I believe that it is better to start out with agreement and compromise in order to avoid this long-term conflict. Collaborative Law, mediation, and negotiation are tools that may be used to help achieve the best possible agreement.
Even if there are no children of the marriage, it is more costly in terms of time, money, and energy expended to fight in the court system than it is to compromise and settle the dispute. The sooner you can reach an agreement, the better.
I would be happy to discuss your case briefly and estimate my fees by telephone. I DO NOT CHARGE for your first phone call with me! If you leave me a message on my answering machine, I will return your call as soon as I can.
- Mark W. Batchelder
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Mark W. Batchelder
Attorney at Law
Fort Worth, Texas