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Dallas Family Law Blog

The potential benefits of a mediated divorce

Happy marriages generally do not end in divorce. Marriages come to their ends because the parties find that their differences are too great to deal with and that they would prefer to live separately for their benefit and the benefit of their families. In Texas, couples can choose to divorce in the courts or may use mediation to terminate their marital relationships.

Most people recognize the litigated process of ending a marriage. This is the type of divorce that happens in a courtroom and that involves the decisions of a judge as controlling on matters related to the parties' post-divorce lives. Litigated divorce is an important and necessary option for some couples because not all parties may find success if they attempt to mediate their divorce proceedings.

Actor and wife disagree on pending child custody outcome

Not all marriages end on bad terms, and those individuals who can work with their exes to find agreement in the settling of their divorce-related issues may consider mediation as a way to take control of the ends of their marriages. Not all Texas couples succeed in mediation, however, and for those who prefer to divorce in a more traditional way the courts are available to qualifying individuals so that they can litigate their claims. A divorce in the courts often starts with a filing by one or both of the parties that sets out why they want to end their marriage and what they want from the process.

Not long ago the wife of actor Tom Arnold filed her divorce documentation and requested that she be awarded the physical and legal custody of their two young children. This is not an unusual move for a parent to do, but it may signal a conflict for the parting couple. This is because Arnold filed his own divorce paperwork and requested that he and his soon-to-be ex share the custody of their kids.

Your children need relationships with both parents post-divorce

If you plan to get divorced there are likely many factors which contributed to the demise of your relationship. Maybe you and your spouse drifted apart. You might have contrasting ideas for handling your finances. And if children are involved, you almost certainly have different parenting styles. But regardless of the differences between you and your spouse, you may be wise to consider whether you truly have reason to try to keep him or her from your children.

You must keep the best interests of your children in mind when it comes to determining child custody, or conservatorship, arrangements. Many parents want to fight for sole custody. However, in most instances, children benefit from having their mother and their father involved in their lives.

Child support can be an important divorce issue

Couples who divorce and who share children between the partners can face many difficulties as they look for supportive ways to protect their children from the conflicts that arise from ending marriages. Even when Texas parents work together to find collaborative solutions to the issues that come during their divorces may they struggle to find appropriate balances between how they will share their kids and how they will provide for their needs. While child custody is often a focus of divorcing parents as it concerns where their kids will live, child support should also be a priority for parents to establish to ensure that their kids have financial sustenance.

In Texas child support payments are calculated based on a complex mathematical formula as well as considerations into the incomes of the children's paying parents. First, a parent who will pay child support must offer their income to the court, and from that sum certain taxes and costs may be eliminated. The resulting sum is the income on which the paying parent's child support obligation will be based.

How can a prenuptial agreement change divorce property issues?

Prenuptial agreements are not just contracts that the super wealthy make with their partners before they get married. In fact, many Texas couples consider and eventually do execute prenups before they wed. This is because a prenuptial agreement can spell out how certain items of property and wealth will be treated in the event that a marriage ends in divorce.

In a prenup a person may identify and protect assets that they owned on their own before their marriage and create through an agreement the protection of those assets as separate property. During a marriage separate property can sometimes be converted into marital property which is then subject to division. A prenup can therefore keep separate property separate and stop a soon-to-be ex from claiming ownership in something that is not theirs.

When relocation threatens a child custody plan

Settling the custodial responsibilities of parents who are going through a divorce can be a major undertaking. Texas parents who choose to live separate and apart from their children's other parents can face difficulties when they are forced to balance their desires to have their children with them with the need to share their children with their former partners. When a child custody plan is finally reached parents may want to do everything that they can to avoid having to change it in the future.

However, as most people will admit, life happens and change is ever-present. A parent may discover one day that they need to move in order to keep their job or to pursue a new relationship. Their upheaval may force them and their co-parent to readdress the difficult custodial matters that they had established but now may be unworkable given the one's plans to relocate.

Divorce mediation for the greater Dallas community

Making the decision to end a marriage can be difficult for a Texas resident. Most people expect that their unions will truly last until death parts them from their spouses, and for divorce to become a necessary component in a relationship a person may feel as though they have in some way failed. However, divorce is not a sign of failure, but rather an option for individuals who are in need of an alternate path to lifelong happiness.

Even within the process of divorce, a person may have options for how much involvement they want in the decision-making that is necessary to end a marriage. While a traditional divorce accomplished through the courts may allow a person to offer input to a judge who will ultimately rule on matters such as custody, support, and property settlement, a mediated divorce can give a party more direct involvement is settling their own matters.

Address credit accounts, debt during property settlement process

When it comes time for a divorcing couple to discuss how the parties will separate their shared assets it can be hard for individuals to let go of certain items they do not want to see in the hands of their exes. Whether it is the family home, a vacation property, or another asset of value that causes strife during property settlement negotiations, Texas residents fight hard for the things they want to keep after their divorces are finalized.

However, not many individuals fight to retain the debts that they accrued during their marriages. Like assets, liabilities must be divided up by individuals so that creditors are still paid despite the demise of the borrowers' martial relationship. Similarly, credit-based accounts should be managed or closed to ensure that the parties cannot harm each other's credit through the use or misuse of shared post-marital accounts.

Co-parenting not working? Here is what you can do.

Nowadays, many divorced parents agree on joint custody and decide to co-parent. It is often in the child's best interest to maintain the relationship with both of their parents. However, emotions run high during and after a divorce, and they can easily turn hostile. So, what can parents do when co-parenting is just not working? 

One answer could be to modify the custody or parenting agreement, but if the parents are committed to co-parenting, there are a few tips they can follow to make it a little easier.

Taking control through a mediated divorce

During a divorce a Texas resident may feel as though they are losing control of their life. As their marriage ends they may see their time with their kids dwindle as they agree to custodial plans and their finances dip as they work out support and property settlements. A divorce is a stressful event that forces individuals to either make compromises or submit to rulings over which they have no power to control.

Viewed in this light, a traditional courtroom divorce can be incredibly hard on a person. However, readers of this family law blog should know that not everyone who wants to divorce must go through the stress and strain of litigation. Mediation is an option for those who wish to have control over the outcomes of their divorce negotiations and there are many other benefits that may enjoy through the process.

Your case doesn't have to ruin your life. We will craft a strategy focused on addressing the issues of concern most important to you. We will get you through this.

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