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Sharon Easley
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What is worth fighting over in a divorce?

The divorce process is notorious for fostering contention. Feelings of anger, pain and revenge can cause spouses to choose not to act cooperatively to hurt each other. Even without those emotions, disagreements over the division of property and time with children are inevitable.

Fighting over everything in a divorce draws it out, leading to higher legal bills, more stress and a greater negative impact on children. However, being passive and unconcerned for your own welfare can also result in an undesirable outcome. How much arguing is appropriate, and about what?

Assets

Most petty contention happens during the distribution of assets. This is where you need to decide what is most important to you and what you are willing to compromise on. Texas is a community property state, which means each spouse receives half of all marital assets. This does not mean you literally share half of every item, but half the total.

You can be persistent about keeping one asset in exchange for giving up another. Minor assets or those with no sentimental value are not worth battling over, but those that affect your long-term finances are. Mediation can help you two make a fair decision.

Children

Determining the parenting schedule is perhaps the most challenging part of divorce. It is easier to give up ownership of property than time with your children. Each parent wants to maintain a relationship with their kids and see them as much as possible, so things can get contentious even if your motive is not to keep the children away from your ex.

The court will do what is in the best interest of children, but who knows that better than their parents? Going through the mediation process is worth the effort so you and your spouse can find a solution that works best for the kids instead of letting a judge decide. This will require being flexible and unselfish and looking at the larger picture. If the agreement does not end up working out, you can return to mediation to modify it.

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