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.

Child custody involves two important elements — physical custody and legal custody. While a parent with physical custody may have their child live with them, a parent with legal custody can participate in the important decisions that will affect their child’s life. It is possible that their divorce court will have to offer instructions on how these two differing plans for child custody will be handled in their post-marital lives.

Conflict and disagreement during a divorce is not uncommon and the courts often must establish the rules by which people must live once they have divorced. Arnold and his wife will have to wait and see what happens when their child custody claims come up for review.