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Recent Blog Posts

Implicit and explicit biases may affect mediation

 Posted on February 11, 2021 in Divorce

When you decide to file for divorce in Texas, you must resolve numerous issues to achieve a fair settlement. Especially if you have children, you may encounter challenges if you and your ex disagree about certain matters, such as custody or property division. The fact that you want to mediate your divorce rather than litigate means you must be willing to cooperate and compromise to accomplish your goals.

The problem is that certain issues may affect mediation sessions without your necessarily being aware of it. For instance, if you have an implicit or explicit bias that pertains to a specific issue, that bias may influence your while you’re discussing the topic during a mediation session.

Most people have implicit biases without realizing it

If you have an implicit bias against something or someone, it exists in your subconscious mind and may affect your words or actions without you being aware of it. Perhaps, you have an implicit bias against people who pay child support that makes you generalize and suspect that most people try to get away with paying as low an amount as possible.

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Coping with custody challenges after divorce

 Posted on January 19, 2021 in Divorce

If you worry about parenting with your ex-spouse after divorce, consider taking a cooperative approach. Collaborating in the face of a challenging relationship will support the well-being of your children in this situation.

Try these strategies to handle coparenting issues after your marriage ends.

Create a parenting plan

When you and your former spouse agree on a parenting plan, you can tailor the custody schedule to your family's needs. Once you have a court-approved plan in place, avoid conflict by sticking to its provisions regarding communication, holiday and vacation time, parenting time, and transportation to and from visits.

Use technological tools

If you butt heads with your ex-spouse about the schedule, try getting on the same page with technology. Scheduling apps offer secure messaging and shared calendars so you can automatically transmit important details about your child's life. You can also upload documents such as medical records and report cards to a password-protected online drive.

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Protect your financial interests in a Texas divorce

 Posted on January 13, 2021 in Divorce

You may have noticed signs that your marriage was in trouble. Then again, there may have been a particular string of events that had irreversible effects on your relationship. Either way, as you prepare to settle a divorce, it’s important to keep several issues in mind, especially finances. Many Texas households include spouses who both work full-time. When you transition to a single income lifestyle, it can present challenges.

Thinking ahead and careful planning can help you make sure you can provide for your needs as you move on in life. If you’re a parent, the importance of financial issues in divorce is intensified. Not only are you concerned about the ability to make ends meet for yourself, but your children’s well-being is a top priority.

Texas is a community property state

In addition to making child custody decisions and writing terms of agreement for a co-parenting plan, you and your spouse must also resolve property division issues to finalize your divorce. Texas is different than most other states in that property division proceedings operate under community property guidelines. This means you and your ex will split all marital property 50/50 in divorce.

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Mediation may help you choose a custody exchange site

 Posted on December 18, 2020 in Child Custody Mediation

During your divorce, your children are likely to be your top priority. If you plan to share physical custody of your kids with your ex-spouse, you must pick a spot to exchange them at the end of your scheduled parenting time.

You and your ex-spouse may have some strong disagreements about where to hand off the kids. Fortunately, mediation is often a ready way to settle these disputes. Before beginning mediation, though, you may want to choose a few potential exchange locations.

A neutral hand-off site

While it may seem natural to exchange the kids at your home or your ex’s, doing so may cause unnecessary friction. When beginning the mediation process, you may need to convince your children’s co-parent to explore other hand-off sites. Picking a neutral location is usually smart.

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3 helpful tips for helping your kids cope with divorce

 Posted on December 11, 2020 in Child Custody Mediation

Your children might be observant, intelligent people, but they are not adults. No matter how much they might seem to understand a particular adult issue, they can only understand it with as much fullness as their age level and maturity allows. If you recently informed your children that you have filed for divorce, they might have said that they understand, but that doesn’t mean they understand it in the same way you do.

Like all good parents, you want what is best for your kids. No family has a perfect life, not even those with parents whose marriages last a lifetime. Rather than centering your focus on the fact that your divorce is happening, it’s helpful to keep several things in mind as you provide love and support to your children while you all adapt to a new lifestyle.

Direct correspondence with your ex is best

It’s understandable that you might not want to see your ex on a daily basis after you finalize your divorce. While you negotiate child custody issues and after you sign an agreement, however, it will still be necessary to correspond with each other because you are co-parents. Sadly, many Texas parents fall into a habit of using their children as messengers when they don’t want to talk to a co-parent.

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Nervous about divorce mediation? 3 tips for success

 Posted on November 11, 2020 in Divorce Mediation

If you have chosen mediation over litigation for your divorce, you are far from alone. From saving money on legal costs to maintaining control over child custody, support and property division decisions, there are many reasons that couples opt for an out-of-court settlement instead of a drawn-out legal battle.

However, while mediation offers many benefits, the process may take work, patience and compromise on the part of both spouses.

Ensuring your mediator has all needed information and documentation well in advance is an important first step. Also important is preparing yourself, mentally and emotionally, to take a problem-solving approach rather than a combative one.

1. Stay on civil terms

Maintaining a friendly relationship with your spouse may be challenging, but it is important to the mediation process to at least remain civil. When emotions are running high, it can be easy to say things that distract from your mutual goal: finding a sensible path forward for the whole family.

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Why choose divorce mediation over litigation?

 Posted on November 04, 2020 in Divorce

When you’ve made a major decision, it might take weeks, even months, to implement it. If your decision involves filing for divorce, and especially if you have children, there will be numerous important issues to resolve before you can leave the past behind and move on in life. Divorce mediation is often a swifter process than litigating a divorce in a Texas court. In fact, saving time isn’t the only benefit of mediation.

Would you be surprised to learn that you can finalize your divorce without ever stepping foot inside a courtroom? Many people hesitate to learn more about mediation because they mistakenly believe it’s only used in business negotiations or think they will still have to go to court to settle their divorce.

Divorce mediation saves time and money

As mentioned earlier, if you want to settle your divorce as quickly as possible, mediation may be a better option than litigation. The last thing you need is to become entangled in a long, drawn-out court battle over issues you can resolve in a peaceful manner by agreeing to a few stipulations ahead of time.

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4 mistaken ideas about divorce mediation

 Posted on October 19, 2020 in Divorce

If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you may dread the possibility of a contentious court battle.

Some say mediation is a great alternative but is it? Here are four mistaken ideas about divorce mediation.

The mediator takes sides

The mediator is a neutral party who cannot and will not take sides in a divorce. The divorcing couple has control over the mediation process, and the responsibilities of the mediator are to guide the parties in effective communication, to diffuse anger or emotional situations and to help them resolve sticking points.

Mediators must be attorneys or judges

The mediator who meets with you may indeed be an attorney or perhaps a retired judge, but a legal background is not a requirement. Divorce mediators are trained in alternative dispute resolution and in many fields, such as psychology, social work and business.

The internet has all the legal information a divorcing couple needs

While an internet search can provide basic legal information, the laws are always changing. A mediator can provide the parties with access to updated laws pertinent to their case.

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Divorce need not lead to stressful holidays

 Posted on October 08, 2020 in Divorce

You might be one of many Texas residents who love the autumn season and anticipating a new holiday season ahead. You might also be one of many people who have decided to divorce and are worried about the holidays, particularly how your life-changing decision might affect your kids and whether you and your ex can negotiate a fair agreement in an amicable fashion. Like all good parents, you have your children’s best interests in mind.

Peacefully settling a divorce is often possible through mediation. You don’t even have to step foot inside a courtroom. Navigating the holidays after divorce, however, can indeed be challenging, especially during your first year. Keeping several things in mind can be helpful for you and your children.

The more detailed your co-parenting plan, the better

When you mediate a divorce, you and your spouse can incorporate any terms you want into your co-parenting plan. If your goal is to avoid high levels of stress during the holidays, you’ll want to make sure you plan ahead and get a lot of things in writing, such as where your children will spend each holiday or whether you and your ex will attend gatherings at the same time for the kids’ sake.

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3 ways to cope with the challenges of divorce

 Posted on September 14, 2020 in Divorce

If you find yourself in the midst of a divorce from your partner, you likely feel overwhelmed about your future. It is normal to experience lots of emotions during your divorce, no matter if you are the one who initiated or on the receiving end.

To make this emotional process a little easier, you can follow a few tips to help you cope with your divorce.

Focus on your wellbeing

Try to maintain your normal routines including relaxing, exercising and eating healthily throughout this difficult time. Taking extra time to heal and re-energize will help reduce your stress levels and have a positive effect on your mental health. Avoid making major changes in your life so you do not become overwhelmed.

Revisit your hobbies

The time you take to relax and focus on yourself is a great opportunity for you to explore your interests and any hobbies you put aside during your marriage. Finding new activities to occupy your mind and boost your mood will go a long way in making the transition to post-divorce life easier. If you have children, you can help create fun new traditions with them.

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