About The Attorney
Lynne Milford—Attorney of Counsel
Following over 30 years of regular annual vacations to Colorado, Lynne and her husband recently decided to move to Colorado to be closer to their daughter. Lynne has been a member of the Rutherford Law Center since 2022. Lynne has been a family law practitioner for 30 years – in Texas. Originally from Pennsylvania, Lynne graduated from Penn State in 1985 and earned her Juris Doctor degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 1989. Lynne’s practice has focused on divorce, child-related issues such as support and modifications, and step-parent adoptions. Lynne is also a qualified family law mediator and a strong believer in the collaborative method of dispute resolution.
Early in her career, Lynne realized that addressing the issues involved in family law cases using the traditional litigation method was inflicting unnecessary and sometimes lasting harm to families. Traditional litigation is an adversarial process (by virtue of the many complicated rules and procedures promulgated by legislators and enforced by Courts) and was not designed to deal with intimate family matters where the adversarial litigants usually will maintain some familial relationship following the litigation. Traditional litigation focuses on what happened in the past since it was designed primarily to address wrongs committed in the past. It does nothing to help families move past the perceived wrongs, heal relationships, or focus on achieving future goals simply because it is focused on the past. Sometimes and for a variety of reasons, traditional litigation of family law matters is necessary to resolve disputes, but it should only rarely be the route chosen for family matters.
Mediation as a tool to encourage settlement of family law disputes has become increasingly available and is actively favored by the judiciary as a way to encourage settlement of cases clogging the courts and the mediation process enables families to settle their disputes in a private setting with control over the outcome. Mediation as a tool to resolve family law matters is far less damaging to families, both emotionally and financially. Mediation is usually ordered by our Courts because it is highly effective. Lynne is a strong supporter of mediation as a way to address family issues in a way that is more customized to a particular family and its needs, and it is a much more private process than litigation. Mediation is successful when families want to move past the conflicts of the past in a healthier way.
There is an even more sophisticated method available to families in transition from one structure to another, and that is the Collaborative Law Method. Lynne has been a staunch supporter of the collaborative method, eagerly sharing its benefits with anyone who will listen, and she has been a trained and active practitioner of the collaborative method since 2004. The collaborative method appeals to people who desire to work through the many complex issues that can be in dispute during a family transition, whether transition means planning a pre-nuptual agreement, navigating a divorce, establishing a parenting plan providing for parental decision making, time sharing, and support, or a modification of terms of a previous order. Collaborative law assumes the focus is on the future and that no one is better placed to plan your future than you are: what are your goals for your future family life, and how can we help you reach those goals? Collaborative law is not designed to address the past hurts or wrongs because it is focused on the future and there are many resources available outside the legal process that are designed especially to help people heal from past hurts. Its not that past behaviors or the impacts of past actions that were harmful (addiction, mental illness, infidelity, financial or other “abuse”, disrespect, etc.) are ignored, rather those things are known and accepted as part of the family’s dynamic and they come in to play in understanding how the family communicates and operates in general. However, focusing on past harmful behavior is not helpful to crafting solutions for how you want to achieve your future goals. The collaborative method is focused on your future.
A collaborative case is a team approach and is the opposite of the adversarial approach of traditional litigation. A collaborative case allows folks to maintain control over the outcome in a way traditional litigation cannot: there is no Judge to tell you what you have to do with your money or how to raise your children. All decisions are reached by agreement of the parties to the case, with the guidance and assistance of your professional team who will consist of one collaboratively trained lawyer for each partner, a communications facilitator who is often a licensed mental health provider experienced in the collaborative method of resolving disputes, and a financial professional. The communications facilitator’s role is to help moderate difficult discussion during the process because a collaborative case does not mean it is “easy” or “agreed,” rather collaboration has to do with how you navigate the difficult issues to reach your goals. Positive, productive, open communication is key here. The communications professional might help parents work towards a parenting plan that provides for parental decision making, support, and time sharing. Other times a separate parenting professional will be engaged to work through those decisions with the parents. The financial professional is charged with gathering all documents necessary to develop the full financial picture of the marital estate so the parties and the lawyers can understand what is available to help achieve the future financial goals of the family. This team approach offers customized solutions for the needs of your unique family. Lynne will be thrilled to share more information about the collaborative method with you if you feel it might fit your needs.
Lynne has served on the Board of Directors for the Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and she has been a long time member of Texas state-wide and local collaborative law groups.
In her free time, Lynne enjoys being outdoors in Colorado, spending time with her family, playing with her dog, Asher, walking, reading, and cooking
Her distinctions include:
|Top Attorney||Fort Worth, Texas Magazine||2018|
|Top Lawyers in Texas||The Legal Network||2018|
|Top Attorney||Fort Worth, Texas Magazine||2017|
|Top Attorney||Fort Worth, Texas Magazine||2016|
|Top Attorneys||Fort Worth, Texas Magazine||2015|
|Top Rated Lawyers||Martindale-Hubbell||2015|
|Texas Women Leaders||Martindale-Hubbell||2015|
|Top Attorneys||Fort Worth, Texas Magazine||2014|
|Top Attorneys||Fort Worth, Texas Magazine||2012|
|Top Attorneys||Fort Worth, Texas Magazine||2009|