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A common misconception about any form of family law mediation is that the parties have to get along in order for it to succeed. Fortunately, that isn't necessarily the case. As long as you and the other parent want to create your own child custody agreement and parenting plan outside of the courtroom, mediation remains a viable option.

Like other Texas parents, you love your children. For this reason, you are probably wondering whether child custody mediation will work for you. If you consider the benefits you could reap from the process, you may find it more of an attractive option.

What can you get out of mediation?

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If you and your spouse are usually able to work through your differences calmly, or at least agree to disagree, you may have opted to try marriage counseling when your relationship began to deteriorate. Working with a Texas counselor may help you see your issues from a different perspective, and this can be a good way to resolve stubborn conflicts.

Unfortunately, marriage counseling is not the cure-all for every couple. As much as you may have hoped to work out your differences and preserve your marriage, you may recognize some of the signs counselors see that often indicate the marriage cannot be saved.

When cheating does irreparable damage

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If you and your spouse have decided to go through mediation instead of handling your divorce through litigation, congratulations. You have chosen a method of divorce that is statistically more positive, civil and mutually agreeable than traditional divorce in a courtroom. However, with little or no experience in this type of law, you may understandably have many questions about what to expect.

As much as you hope to maintain your dignity and arrive at a reasonable and fair settlement, you may worry that your current relationship with your spouse makes it more likely that your mediation sessions will end in nonproductive bickering. But does this mean that mediation is failing? How can you tell if the process is not working, and when might it be time to give up and head to court after all?

Not as bad as you think

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A divorce is one of the most stressful events a person can go through. All that stress can harm a person's health, as chronic stress has links to weight gain, depression, insomnia and high blood pressure.

You cannot avoid stress entirely in your life, but you can take steps to make sure it does not overpower you. Even a relatively amicable divorce can lead to a certain amount of stress, which is why you need to pursue certain actions throughout the process to make sure you get through it all right.

Talk to someone

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Depending on the circumstances preceding your divorce, you may have an interest in staying friends with your ex in the aftermath. If you believe maintaining at least some sort of amicable relationship with this person is a possibility, though, you may find that doing so can benefit you as you move forward; particularly if the two of you plan to co-parent together.

Just how can staying friendly with your former spouse potentially benefit as you navigate your life, post-divorce?

It can help ease the strain on your children

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Good preparation is essential for any worthwhile endeavor, and divorce mediation is no exception.

Pay particular attention to the following four areas to help make the mediation process go as smoothly as possible.

Discuss mediation with your spouse

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Posted on in Firm News

We established this blog to share stories and information about topics relevant to our practice. Our intent is to regularly provide posts highlighting legal issues of local, state and national interest that we think you will find interesting. Check back later for updates.

Going through the divorce process can weigh you down. Considering everything at stake, it can become an overwhelming prospect to get through.

Mediation is one way that couples can get through a split with more of a say in what their post-divorce life will look like. Avoiding court may benefit couples in many ways. Creating a parenting plan in this environment can give you a better handle on co-parenting successfully once the process ends.

The role of a mediator

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Divorce mediation can be quite beneficial for a few different reasons. If you choose to undergo mediation, it is important that you select the right mediator for your situation.

It is also critical that you understand a few key factors to look for in a divorce mediator. Knowing this and your own role in the process can help you to get the most out of your mediation sessions.

Mediator qualifications

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It is possible to divorce without lawyers; a lot of people have done it over the years. You just need to be mindful about what you want to fight over.

In a divorce, there are things you should fight to retain. If there is a vast income discrepancy between you and your ex, then you should receive some alimony, at least, for a little while. You also deserve to fight over the well-being of your children. However, you need to keep things in perspective. A lot of people drag out their divorces unnecessarily because they want something they do not need. Here are some items you should not waste time arguing over during a separation.

Things that clearly belong to the other spouse

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No matter the frustration you may feel towards your spouse, the choice to break up is never easy. Both of you will likely feel strong emotions during the process. Ending your marriage will certainly be difficult, but it does not need to overwhelm you.

It is possible to have a low-stress divorce. Here are some suggestions and techniques for reducing your anxiety during your split.

1. Consider mediation

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Divorce is one situation where the effects of the behavior between separating parents have more of an impact on the kids than the process itself. Many separating couples in Texas find it challenging to look past their own feelings and wants to protect their children. Divorce is not necessarily an easy process, especially with kids to consider, but it can be an amicable separation.

The end of marriage marks a big transition where countless changes must occur to reestablish family stability and security. Here are some pointers to make it easier for parents to meet those challenges head-on and mitigate the impact on their kids.

Spend as much time as possible with the children

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Divorce can be a tremendously stressful and sad experience. After all, when you decide to separate from someone you promised to love forever, you must deal with a variety of emotions. You do not, though, have to have a full-on battle with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

While as many as half of marriages end in divorce, amicable divorces are on the rise. That is for good reason, as spouses often save both money and emotional capital when they use a mediator to dissolve a marriage instead of a lawyer. What may surprise you, though, is that you may have a better post-divorce future by opting for a friendly marriage dissolution.

Maintain a healthy relationship with your ex-spouse

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Though the term divorce is often synonymous with court and lawyers, many couples navigate their divorces without attorneys or contentious court battles.

Divorce is a decision that requires careful contemplation and preparation. Couples who want to avoid the drama and legal ramifications of separation and save money and stress should consider the following pointers on having a divorce with minimal attorney involvement.

1. Determine what the dominant issues are

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Not all Texas divorces end up in court where one spouse screams and fights to prolong the battle and dissolution process. Divorce mediation makes it possible to have an amicable divorce if you and your spouse agree that ending your marriage is better than trying to prolong what is inevitable.

To make the separation easier, do not rush the process. It is a good idea to prepare before filing the divorce papers. Even if you and your partner think you have things all figured out, here are a few pointers to help you stay on track and prevent unexpected issues and delays.

Take care of your emotional health

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It is no secret that divorce can have a negative impact on children. From switching between homes to dealing with angry parents, the changes that come with divorce can take a toll on children's emotional well-being. Kids may blame themselves for their parents' breakup or not understand why the marriage ended. It is hard being a child during and after a divorce.

The marital split does not affect all children equally, however. When it comes to academic achievement, a recent study reveals that those from wealthy households actually experience the most setbacks, reports Time. Compared to their peers in intact families, wealthy children who had gone through an unexpected divorce had lower rates of high school and college graduation.

Reasons for the greater damage

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One of the sources most people turn to with questions on any topic is the internet. They research different websites, opinions, and viewpoints from various "experts" to grasp some kernels of truth or find wisdom that may help them come to a sound decision.

The internet is often the first place people look for answers when considering marital problems. In a sense, this can turn into a one-way dead end that is the opposite of mediation.

The problem with online information

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Many divorces that occur in Texas are fairly amicable. However, there are horror stories about angry spouses who intentionally delay the process. There is also the greater extreme where a spouse lashes out in violence. An angry husband shot his wife and three other family members in Texas after she filed for divorce.

Those stories are rare. More often than not, a spouse will simply be upset the marriage has come to an end and make things difficult on the ex. If your spouse does not react to the news of the divorce well, then you should expect some of the following to occur. None of these are certainties, but they are important to keep in mind, so you can react accordingly.

Delay the process through the discovery phase

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As someone navigating your way through a divorce, chances are, you are preparing for considerable change in your life in the days ahead. While adjusting to life on your own can be difficult in and of itself, it can prove much more so if you are also having to finance a tremendously costly divorce. The good news, however, is that divorce does not have to involve a sizable investment, and Yahoo Finance reports that there are a number of different steps you can take to lower the costs associated with yours.

So, what can you do to help avoid an unnecessarily expensive divorce?

1. Consider mediation

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As a Texas resident currently navigating your way through a divorce, you may be weighing your options and trying to determine the cleanest, easiest and most affordable way to untangle your life from your former partner's. Often, parties working their way through divorces choose to hire their own attorneys to represent them, but this comes at a considerable expense and is, in some cases, largely avoidable.

Mediation, for example, presents an affordable alternative to a traditional courtroom divorce. Typically, mediation involves having both parties in the marriage meet with an impartial third party – known as a mediator – who helps them work through a broad range of issues related to spousal support, asset division, child custody and so on. While mediation often brings with it numerous benefits, such as increased privacy and a minimal emotional strain on any children you and your former partner may share, one of its biggest benefits is that it can save you a substantial amount of money.

How much can you save through mediation?

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