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Texas divorce attorney-mediatorWhen a couple gets divorced in Texas, they must negotiate fairly weighty financial matters. In addition to dividing their marital property and debt, a couple must negotiate spousal maintenance (also known as alimony), and, if they have minor children, establish child support payments as well. This can involve a lot of fact-gathering and documentation as a couple seeks to assess their valuables, home, and more. 

Not all divorcees will qualify for spousal maintenance. In fact, Texas has strict guidelines for how a couple can determine whether spousal maintenance is appropriate in their case. Because Texas courts prefer couples to negotiate their divorce decrees outside of protracted, expensive courtroom litigation, couples often have a surprising amount of flexibility when it comes to designing a settlement that works for both parties. A skilled attorney-mediator can help spouses reach an agreement during mediation that feels fair while saving money and time on court fees and hearings. 

When Does a Spouse Qualify for Alimony in Texas? 

When courts have to determine spousal maintenance for a couple, they look at many factors. These include: 


Plano divorce mediationIf you are like most people, divorce is probably something that you never expected to live through. When you got married, you planned for it to be “till death do us part.” Unfortunately, many marriages do not work out this way, and if you have encountered relationship issues that cannot be resolved, it may be the best choice for everyone involved to end your marriage so that you and your spouse can both move on to a better life. Even if you were unable to make your marriage work, you may be able to complete your divorce more quickly and easily by using mediation. However, you will want to be prepared to address the issues that may arise during this process. By understanding some common sources of conflict, you can be prepared to approach these matters the right way and reach agreements that will benefit both you and your spouse.

Addressing Disputed Issues During Mediation

Your goal during mediation will be to create a divorce settlement that can be entered in court. You and your spouse will both need to fully agree on the terms of your settlement. As you work to reach agreements, some areas that may lead to disputes may include:

  • Your family home - It makes sense for both you and your spouse to have a sentimental attachment to your house, especially if you have lived there for many years and formed relationships with neighbors and others in the community. Because of this, both of you may wish to continue living in your house, especially if you want your children to stay in the home where they have been raised. Ideally, you and your spouse will want to work together to determine whether it will be feasible for either of you to own the home on your own. You may be able to reach an agreement that will allow one spouse to continue living in the home temporarily or on a more permanent basis. Matters related to child custody may play a role in your decisions, especially if you want your children to continue living in the same home and attending the same schools. However, the best solution in many cases is to sell the home. By dividing any profits earned from the sale, you can each make sure you will have the financial resources to find new living arrangements.
  • Spousal support - When one spouse earns a lower income or is a stay-at-home parent, they may ask for financial support from the other spouse. This can be a contentious issue, since most people will not like the idea of making payments to their former spouse. However, it is important to remember that this form of support is not meant to be a punishment, and a person cannot be required to pay support because they were at fault for their divorce. Courts will usually only order spousal support if one spouse needs financial assistance to meet their needs and the other spouse has the capability to provide support while also covering their own ongoing expenses. If one spouse is in a position where they will struggle to cover the costs of living, you may be able to reach an agreement on an amount of spousal support that will be appropriate. You may also agree on how long these payments will last, ensuring that the spouse being supported will have the means to begin working again in the future.

Contact a Plano Divorce Mediator

As you work to resolve the outstanding issues in your divorce, a skilled mediator can help you address your concerns and reach agreements that you and your spouse will both be satisfied with. At Divorce Mediation Centers of America, we understand the issues that can lead to conflict during mediation, and we are prepared to help resolve disputes as peaceably as possible. To learn how we can help you complete your divorce as quickly and efficiently as possible, contact our Collin County divorce mediation professionals today at 469-406-4320 and arrange a complimentary consultation.


70 percent of parents experience stress related to summertime planning, according to a poll of 2,000 parents. Over half the parents polled said they were ready for their kids to go back to school after only one week.

Why are parents so stressed out over summer planning and what can they do about it?

Causes of summertime stress

In many households, both parents work which makes figuring out what to do with the kids when they are home all the time over summer break a major source of stress. Parents identified several key causes:


When you got married in a Texas church, courthouse or other location, you no doubt expected to be with your spouse for a lifetime. Whether you’ve been together less than five years or more than a decade, if there are underlying issues in your marriage that are unresolved, it can do a lot of damage to your relationship. There are certain issues, in fact, that many spouses say were causal factors in their divorce.

Just because you experience one or more of these issues does not necessarily mean you will wind up filing for divorce. However, such issues are common among people who do.

Communication, intimacy and loyalty are important in a marriage

Perhaps you and your spouse have drifted apart over time and have found that you don’t have as much in common as you once did. It’s one thing to have different personalities but quite another to feel that your spouse is not supportive of you in your marriage. The following list shows issues that are often precursors to divorce:


Parenting is undoubtedly both a rewarding and challenging experience in your life. When you decided to file for divorce, you knew from the start that it would have a significant impact on your children’s lives. Like many other parents who can relate to your circumstances, you were determined to cause the least amount of disruption possible, starting with creating a solid co-parenting agreement.

When you choose to mediate your divorce, you and your spouse agree to avoid litigation at all cost. This means that you must agree to peacefully discuss all child custody issues, including where your children will live, whether you will share physical and legal custody and other important matters. There are numerous other issues that you can incorporate into your co-parenting plan, however, to help your children cope with the changes in their lives with as little stress as possible.

Remember to write out terms for birthdays, holidays and special events

It’s common to focus on the priority issues when you’re mediating a child custody plan in a divorce. It’s also a good idea to include terms of agreement regarding where your children will spend their special events and milestone occasions, including holidays after your divorce. If you and your co-parent get along well, you might decide to share special occasions together so that your kids can be with both parents at the same time.

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