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Saving money during a divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Even when you and your spouse are reaching an amicable divorce arrangement without the need for outside intervention, the division of assets involves a complex settlement of your joined household that requires legal help to make sure it is shepherded through the system. When you have financial issues with the division that you cannot resolve on your own, it can get even more expensive, because both sides often choose to access lawyers to resolve the issue, and the resulting legal and court fees can mount quickly.

Streamlining divorce costs

There are a variety of ways to make sure you keep your legal costs down during a divorce, but many of them do require the cooperation of both parties to work out. The Huffington Post suggests the following:

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Divorce can take a toll on your physical health, your personal and professional relationships and your finances. The costs, effort and time you put into ending your marriage may seem overwhelming as you deal with the sad, anxious emotions you have about your future. As you manage the anxiety of moving forward without a partner, it is important that you are financially prepared to take on the world on your own. Doing the following will help you build a better foundation to start fresh after the end of a marriage.

Close joint accounts and open your own

This should be your first step when you are financially preparing for divorce. Close all joint accounts and split the money that is left. Open your own accounts in just your name to protect the money you have from a spouse who may be angry or make bad decisions. If you both remain on the account and one decides to clean it out, the other is left with nothing.

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Ending a marriage can have a lasting effect on everyone who loves you. Your parents, children and friends all lose something when you split with your spouse. Your first goal is to protect your children and watch out for your best interests, and divorces can quickly become heated and tense without the right approach. Rather than fight over the little things or deal with bitter, angry feelings during the divorce process, work to limit conflict in the following ways.

Improve communication with your ex

Good communication skills are vital to any transaction or relationship, and clear, concise communication ensures that you get what you need from the divorce. If you can speak to your ex without a confrontation, try to discuss things face to face with a mediator involved rather than rely on text and email. If you feel threatened when you are with your ex, you may need to address your concerns and interests in a direct, well-thought-out email.

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When your marriage ends and you have kids to think about, telling them can be done right or wrong. While you cannot control their reactions, you can make sure that you prepare them as much as possible for what is coming. Most children value stability and consistency, and they want to know that both parents still love them and that they are not at fault for the divorce. How you talk to your kids about divorce depends on their age and where they are developmentally.

0 to 5 years old

Kids who are 0 to 5 years old depend on caregivers for everything but lack the ability to understand their own feelings, anticipate the future or deal with complex events. Preschoolers may start to be a little independent, but cause and effect still eludes them. The world revolves around them, and they often have a hard time distinguishing between fantasy and reality. They are also limited in their ability to talk about their feelings.

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Divorce is hard on the parents, but children often struggle the most when parents decide to call it quits. They deal with confusion, anger, sadness and many other emotions that are hard to reconcile when they are not quite old enough to understand what has happened. If they are used to living with both parents, maintaining a relationship with the non-custodial parent is particularly challenging but is made easier when the parent makes the effort to connect. Regardless of your feelings toward your ex or the tensions that run between the two of you, your children should benefit from interactions with both parents as often as possible.

1. Make your home their home

If you are the parent who moved out and got a new home, your kids may feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings. When you are choosing furniture and decorating, do as much as you can to make them feel wanted and welcome. Give them their own bedroom if possible and decorate it together.

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It is difficult to pull the plug and make the final decision to end your marriage. Many couples wonder if it is the right thing to do, how it will affect the children and how they will survive without the emotional and financial support of a spouse. The bottom line is that sometimes divorce is a better option than staying together, and you must both know when to admit that it is time to move on. The following are common signs that your marriage may be in trouble.

1. Everything ends in a fight

Do simple things like finding a movie to watch or deciding which restaurant to eat at end in fights and insults hurled at each other? Fights and arguments are common in marriage and are not by themselves a sign that divorce is on the horizon, but if every simple decision evolves into an argument, you may need to think about the future of your marriage.

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4 things not to fight over in a divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Most divorces don't need to be a long, drawn out and acrimonious process. It can be less stressful if both parties agree to be respectful. This is a challenge for many couples, however.

In order to avoid the bitterness that so often accompanies divorce proceedings, try not to fight over less important things. What really matters in a divorce is the well-being of yourself and your family, so you should do your best to avoid prolonged arguments. Mediation is often helpful for couples who are disputing aspects of their divorce such as:

Separation of assets

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Today, it is easy to share everything you feel and every event you experience with the entire world through social media platforms. Whether you are sipping margaritas on a beach or going through a painful divorce, the audience is the same. Unfortunately, many use social media as a platform to spread bad things about their ex or to vent about their divorce. When you are dealing with a painful divorce and need to share information and gain support from family and friends, what is the appropriate way to use social media to do so?

1. Would you say this in person?

It is easy to sit behind a keyboard and spout anger and information about a frustrating situation. The best thing to do when you are deciding whether or not to hit the post button is to decide if the post represents something you would say to the person's face. Remember that anything you post publicly may be admissible in court, so it is often best to air your grievances in person.

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Divorce is often complicated when there are children involved, and it is not uncommon for parents in Texas to have differing ideas about parenting their kids. When those differences interfere with your ability to co-parent, you and the other parent should find ways to work together to bring about a solution in the most amicable way possible.

Work on communicating with each other

The sooner you start accepting that your relationship with your ex-spouse is different, the better. You and your former partner now must work together for the benefit of your kids, and communication is important. When you and your former spouse talk to each other, try not to involve your emotions.

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Going through a divorce is stressful, even if the split is amicable. Aside from all the legal hoops that need to be jumped through, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made. No matter how much you believe that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can handle things on your own, it's going to be very beneficial having a mediator to act as an unbiased third-party. A mediator works on behalf of both spouses, they don't take sides.

Most couples who chose the mediation route in lieu of hiring separate attorneys do so because their split is amicable. Both parties likely share similar thoughts on how the divorce should be handled and the mediator's goal is to make sure that the final agreement leaves both parties feeling satisfied.

Here are a few major benefits to choosing mediation over litigation:

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If you choose to go the divorce mediation route, you and your spouse will hire a neutral, third-party mediator. The role of a mediator is to meet with you to help you come to an agreement on issues and resolve problems that arise in the divorce process. While the mediator will serve as a facilitator, there are certain things mediators are not permitted to do. Here is some vital information about legal advice and the role of a mediator.

What is legal advice?

Only lawyers are permitted to provide legal advice. Therefore, any advice you receive from your friends or family does not qualify as legal advice. True legal advice actually creates an agreement between the client and the attorney based on the legal issue the client is attempting to resolve. Some of the characteristics of legal advice include:

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Child custody battles are almost always emotional. Combine tense situations with legal fees and lengthy courtroom trials, and the whole process can be overwhelming and psychologically draining. However, child custody matters do not need to be addressed in a courtroom. In many states, Texas included, child custody can be negotiated through mediation. If you are considering using a mediator, you probably have many questions. We can answer them and help you understand the process.

What is child custody mediation?

Child custody mediation is a private process in which a mediator (always a neutral party) helps two parents reach a mutually agreeable custody arrangement for their child or children. The mediator is not a judge and cannot enforce the custody arrangements.

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Scientific American reported that nearly 1.5 million children witness their parents' divorce annually. As parents begin the process of legalizing their divorce, they can become consumed with the details while trying to manage their own feelings. Though children are resilient, it is important to remember that they will need extra attention during the divorce process. Here are five things that kids need from their parents during a divorce.

1. Continued presence of both parents

Studies consistently reveal that children are more adjusted, healthier and more self-confident when they have relationships with both parents. Either before or during the divorce, one parent usually moves out, which makes it more difficult to see his or her children each day. Although both parents no longer live together, a continued presence in the lives of the children is vital to their mental and emotional health. Consider the following ideas to keep in touch with your kids, even if you no longer live at the same address:

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How to divorce without going broke

Posted on in Divorce

If you're not careful, divorce can lead you right to the poor house. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to successfully divorce without going broke.

Damage control with the ex

During a divorce, it's natural to view your spouse as the enemy. However, this mindset represents a potentially costly mistake - making your ex angry simply makes them likelier to lash out, and it's your wallet that will feel the brunt of that. Instead, think in terms of trying to manage and control any potential drama. The best way to do this is to frame conversations in terms of their needs and values, and make it clear that you still value those things. This can be a crucial factor between an amicable split and a wallet-draining, tabloid-touted fight.

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Deciding to move forward with a divorce can be stressful and painful. By choosing mediation, an alternative to court, people can avoid the additional emotional turmoil, expenses and embarrassment that typically come with a courtroom battle. Mediation allows you to stay in control of the process, rather than turning control over to impersonal divorce attorneys. However, not all mediators are the same. Should you decide to take the more beneficial and collaborative approach to divorce, here are three questions to explore that will help you choose an effective mediator:

1. Can you trust this person?

Your mediator is going to work with you on some very personal matters. You need to feel that you can implicitly trust this professional. A true mediator is not only competent but radiates empathy and compassion for his or her client.

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2 Celebrity divorces: What we learned

Posted on in Divorce

The process of divorce can brutal. Though amicable separationsdoexist, sometimes they may require the help of a professional mediator. Meditation can allow couples to cut out unnecessary court costs, while providing them with privacy and a safe environment in which to resolve their differences in the most stress-free way possible. It seems that some celebrity couples have known this for years, while others still can't seem to avoid a fight.

Let's take a look at two very different divorces.

  1. Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: After just 15 months of marriage, things have taken a dark turn for the couple. Heard's allegations of abuse, combined with her choice to file for a temporary restraining order against Depp, has thrown the couple into the public eye. To make things worse, amidst legal proceedings, Depp's conspicuous silence has led to a lot of public speculation around whether or not Heard's claims might be founded. In addition, Depp is auctioning off his multi-million dollar art collection in preparation for support proceedings.
  2. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin: Since announcing their "conscious uncoupling," this pair have seemed to have it all under control. They have stayed out of the courtroom and dealt with things privately through mediation. Despite finding new romantic partners, they have been able to maintain an amicable partnership as mutually supportive parents for their growing children.

Mediation May Be Right For You

Gwen and Chris have chosen a peaceful method for securing closure at their marriage's end. But, mediation isn't just for Hollywood stars. Divorce Mediation Centers of Texas helps people from all walks of life to fulfill their end-of-marriage objectives without the hassle and stress of a courtroom. Call to learn more in a free consultation.

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